Max Ernst's infamous "collage novels" were once hard to come by, being saved only for collectors with lots of money to spend, but thankfully one of his 3 novels, Une Semaine de Bonte (A Week of Kindness), has been republished for the general public, courtesy of the kind people at Dover Books. All 182 of the collages are reproduced in very high quality on paper which is thick and nice to the touch. The original title pages have also been reproduced, translated also into English from the French. For the price it's well worth it.
And the book itself? A tour-de-force of imagination, a must for anyone even slightly interested in the art of collage and Surrealism. Here Max Ernst has seamlessly perfected collage, creating darkly surreal images from 19th century engravings. The lack of text accompanying each collage allows the viewer to create their own storyline to run through each of the 7 sections. Motifs dominate the work: people with the heads of animals, birds, winged ladies, water. The overall atmosphere is Gothic and bizarre, the stuff of dreams itself.
Here's to hoping that Dover decide to publish Ernst's 2 other collage novels, La Femme 100 Tetes and A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil.