Rosenbaum, Jonathan, ed. "Orson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich." This Is Orson Welles. By Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich and Jonathan Rosenbaum. New York: Da Capo P, Incorporated, 1998. Guaymas Chapter.
This Guaymas Chapter of This is Orson Welles is composed of material from a three-hundred and twenty-two page interview that Peter Bogdanovich conducted with Orson Welles. The interview was then edited and supplemented with primary sources by editor Jonathan Rosenbaum. The interview touches on almost all of Welle’s works, however, I will focus on it’s implications about Citizen Kane. Interestingly, the interview begins by exploring the topic of Hearst’s intervention. Welles states that he felt more pressure from those intervening on behalf of Hearst than from Hearst himself. By this point, Welles is no longer denying that Kane is based on Hearst, but is instead defending that Susan was not at all a reflection of Marion Davies. Discussion then moves to the topic of Herman Mankiewicz. In this interview, Welles gives Mankiewicz complete credit (or responsibility) for the idea of ‘Rosebud.’ He also goes on to say that he is not at all fond of the idea, and that he in fact did all he could to provide disclaimers for the symbolism implied by Kane’s dying word. The rest of the interview addresses issues and ideas from films other than Citizen Kane.
This interview represents another major change in Orson Welles’ attitude towards ‘Rosebud.’ With the ideas he asserts in this interview, he not continues to show that he is dissatisfied with what the symbol 'Rosebud' represents, but also removes the blame of ‘Rosebud’s’ failure from himself and places it on Mankiewicz, even stating that he took efforts to reduce the effect that the symbol had. This concept of ‘Rosebud’ as a weakness to the film is in stark contrast to the views Welles expressed in sources such as his 1941 statement about the purpose of Citizen Kane (4). It is, however, very much in line with the criticisms that reviewers began to voice after the films release, such as in Joy Davidman's Citizen Kane (5). This source supports the idea put forth in my thesis that Welles explanation of ‘Rosebud’ is dependent on media pressures because it carries almost no significance of it’s own. Welles had also previously rejected the idea of 'Rosebud' while still taking responsibility for the idea, as in his 1960 interview for the CBC (6), but now he refuses to take responsibility for the idea he sees as a failure.