21 October 2010

The Word Made Flesh

The Word Made Flesh is one of the those books that provides a few hours of happy browsing, flipping through pages, and admiring the art presented. 

This is a juxtaposition of the art of the a tattoo artist and the written word.  From a single semi-colon to full-color sleeves and backs, classic literature to poetry to children's books, the range of creativity shown is amazing.  To me, tattoos have always had that "rebellious" tag and that fits well with the written word.  Many of the tattoos seem to represent the idea that the "word" is permanent, that you can't erase words no matter what you do.

Along with the user-submitted photos, editors Eva Talmadge and Justin Taylor included several essays from contributors.  Katherine Barthelme talks about her tattoo, "Born Dancin' ", an homage to her father's short story "The Baby".  Details for Shelley Jackson's SKIN project are included; SKIN feels almost like performance art, a moving book made up of participants each carrying one word on their bodies.  It's not just the readers who show off their ink, the authors get in on the act, too.  Jonathan Lethem shows off his tattoo inspired by Phillip K. Dick's Ubik.

I am actually quite envious of some of the work shown in the book; I think this would be a great book for those looking to get inspired. (Note: I do not have any tattoos.  Not only am I a big baby and wuss, I've never been able to make up my mind about what I would like to have permanently inked on my body.  I am far too mercurial some days.)

Dear FTC: I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher.

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