John Steinbeck Pigasus tattoo

John Steinbeck Pigasus tattoo

One of the first posts that I shared on this site was my wrist tattoo of the original artwork from Ernest Hemingway’s classic Lost Generation novel The Sun Also Rises. I’d like to share another one today, this time of John Steinbeck’s Pigasus.

This one came about back in late 2015, shortly after I’d moved to San Diego. My lovely friend Kate was in town visiting and suggested we get tattoos. While I had the girl with the green ribbon as next on my list I couldn’t afford it and went for a simpler one that I’d thought about for several years. For those not familiar, Steinbeck’s wife Elaine described Pigasus as follows:

The Pigasus symbol came from my husband’s fertile, joyful, and often wild imagination.  After his signature on letters or inside his books, he would draw a fat little pig with wings, and lettered his name, “Pigasus.”  John would never have been so vain or presumptuous as to use the winged horse as his symbol; the little pig said that man must try to attain the heavens even though his equipment be meager. Man must aspire though he be earth-bound.

As Of Mice and Men was the first novel I read of Steinbeck, and which destroyed me as a preteen, I was going to name it George or Lennie, but something about it said “Mortimer” to me. And so it was.

There’s nothing like a tattoo gun.

Work was done by Buttah at EC Tattoo II in San Diego who kindly took us as walk-ins. Hopefully, once all this pandemic nonsense is over, and I have disposable income again, there’ll be more literary tattoos. I’d love the original cover of Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night wrapping fully around my arm. Dare to dream!

Anyone else out there have any literary tattoos? Let us know!

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