Lines of My Hand. Photographs and text by Robert Frank. Design by Kohei Sugiura. Yugensha/Kazuhiko Motomura, Tokyo, 1972. 125 pp. + 30 pp. Folio. Limited edition of 1000 unnumbered copies. Separate Japanese translation pamphlet with illustrations laid in. Clothbound in cloth slipcase with tipped-on cover photograph, "Platte River, Tennessee" (500 copies were produced with this image; the other 500 in the edition with "New York City, 1948"). Numerous black-and-white reproductions. 2 two-page gatefolds.
I am looking back into a world now gone forever. Thinking of a time that will never return. A book of photographs is looking back at me. Twenty-five years of looking for the right road. Post cards from everywhere. If there are any answers I have lost them.--Robert Frank
Lines of My Hand has been published in three rather different versions; this one, a lavish production designed by Kohei Sugiura and published in an edition of 1000, is by far the most sought after. Ralph Gibson's Lustrum Press (who published Larry Clark's Tulsa the year before) published a considerably revised edition later the same year; Parkett/Der Altag published another heavily reworked version in 1989 that was also distributed by Pantheon in the U.S. As Parr and Badger write, "Everything [Frank] does is a diary, a confession." The books retrospective tone is summed up in opening lines contained in the 1989 edition:
Originally published with a choice of two different images tipped onto the front of the black cloth slipcase. This one is "Platte River, Tennessee".