ou Les Sept Éléments Capitaux (Roman)
Aux Éditions Jeanne Bucher; Paris, France
Edition: #591, 592, 592, 591 & 592/816
Une Semaine de Bonte (1934) has been described as “one of the clandestine classics of the century” by the New York Times. Ernst created a series of 182 surrealists collages that focus on classical dreams and erotic fantasy (Dover publications 2013:[SP]). The books work with the notions of women who either survive or die and are able to morph into various creatures by the sprouting of wings and horns.
Ernst created the collages for Une Semaine de Bonté by cutting up and reorganizing illustrations from Victorian novels, encyclopaedias, wood engravings, natural science journals and other books. He arranged the images to present a dark, surreal world mirroring contemporary Surrealist themes. The work originally appeared in five volumes, divided into seven sections named after the days of the week, beginning with Sunday. Each of the sections is associated with an element, and is provided with an example of that element and an epigraph.
1. Magenta (Mauve) covers. Premier Cahier. Dimanche. Élément: La Boue. Example: Le Lion de Belfort.
2. Green covers. Deuxième Cahier. Lundi. Élément: L’Eau. Example: L’eau.
3. Red covers. Troisième Cahier. Mardi. Élément: Le Feu. Example: La Cour du Dragon.
4. Blue covers. Quatrième Cahier. Mercredi. Élément: Le Sang. Example: Oe Dipe (Oedipe).
5. Yellow covers. Dernier Cahier. Jeundi. Élément: Le Noir.
The title translates as A Week of Kindness or The Seven Capital Elements.