Les Américains. Photographs by Robert Frank. Texts by numerous authors edited by Alain Bosquet. Encyclopedie Essentielle/Robert Delpire, Paris, 1958. 174 pp. Oblong octavo. Glazed paper over boards. Cover design by Saul Steinberg. No dust jacket as issued. Numerous gravure reproductions.
"...paved the way for three decades of photographs exploring the personal poetics of lived experience. Many memorable photobooks have been derived from this mass of material. None has been more memorable, more influential, nor more fully realized than Franks's masterpiece."--Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History, Vol. 1 Unlike the Grove Press edition published the following year, in legendary publisher Robert Delpire's first French edition--with its politically charged texts printed on pages facing the photos--Frank's acerbic documentary of post-war American life comes across more as a biting exposé of the ennui and provincialism lurking beneath the surface than as a "sad poem sucked out of America," in Kerouac's famous words.
Near Fine-; binding a bit shaken, yet quite secure; typical tanning to boards; some delamination and splitting along short length of joints; small hand-written name front flyleaf; moderate foxing; hinge starting along 1" front; tiny puncture front joint.