New Directions Publishing Corporation, 9780811217262, 109pp.
Publication Date: October 15, 2007
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 surface, a dread-inspiring depth is concealed. It is the metaphysical lining of reality, so to speak.