Awesome Tattoos Inspired by David Foster Wallace


Today would have been David Foster Wallace’s 50th birthday, and we think it’s safe to say that the entire literary world misses him dearly. Wallace has some of the most rabid fans of any author — poring over details, reading hundreds of pages of endnotes over and over, latching onto every piece of lore and scrap of ephemera, building photo tours of all the Boston buildings mentioned in Infinite Jest . If you need proof, just look at how many posthumous works on or by Wallace have cropped up in the relatively few years since his death (another book of unpublished essays is due out this fall). Many of these DFW enthusiasts have even gone the extra mile and tattooed the author’s words, or representations thereof, onto their bodies, cementing their connection to the luminous figure for all time. We can’t say we blame them. Click through to check out the DFW-related ink on some very devoted fans, and, if you’ve got ’em, let us know about your own literary tattoos in the comments.

The title of Wallace’s famous 2005 Commencement speech at Kenyon College. [via]

The Broom of the System (Penguin Ink edition). [via]

A quote from Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. [via]

Scenes from Infinite Jest. [via]

A quote from Oblivion. [via]

The last line of Infinite Jest. [via]

Sierpinski gasket tattoo. [via]

The last line of Infinite Jest plus Wallace’s well-loved ellipses. [via]

The happy/sad foot referenced in The Pale King. [via]

An excerpt from “This is Water.” [via]