W.G. Sebald; lithographs by Jan Peter Tripp.
New Directions: 2004. First edition. Hardcover in dust jacket. Near fine.
Unrecounted combines thirty-three of what W. G. Sebald called his "micropoems"―miniatures as unclassifiable as all of his works―with thirty-three exquisitely exact lithographs by one of his oldest friends, the acclaimed artist Jan Peter Tripp.
The lithographs portray, with stunning precision, pairs of eyes―the eyes of Beckett, Borges, Proust Jasper Johns, Francis Bacon, Tripp, Sebald, Sebald's dog Maurice. Brief as haiku, the poems are epiphanic and anti-narrative. What the author calls "time lost, the pain of remembering, and the figure of death" here find a small home. The art and poems do not explain one another, but rather engage in a kind of dialogue. "The longer I look at the pictures of Jan Peter Tripp," Sebald comments in his essay, "the better I understand that behind the illusions of the ace, a dread-inspiring depth is concealed. It is the metaphysical lining of reality, so to speak."