Here are some quotes from Dos Passos' _The Big Money_, which is part 3 of _USA_(1938). The section is entitled "Poor Little Rich Boy," p417-424. I've selected some of the passages which are esp. relevant to Kane. I'm assuming that Mank and /or Welles read it.
What is notable is how DP presents Hearst as someone who mobilized his millions and his powers as a press mogul to advance his political career, and then to advance the movie career of his woman..., and when neither worked out, retreated to his over-stuffed Castle.
Was this a common overview of Hearst's life, or something that DP articulated for the first time? In either event, it makes the Hearst > Kane similarity unmistakable.
Those runtogether words are DP's. Picked up from Joyce, I assume.
When his father asked him what he wanted to do with his life, he said he wanted to run the Examiner which was a moribund sheet in San Francisco which his father had taken over for a bad debt. It didn't seem much to ask. The old man couldn't imagine why Willie wanted the old rag instead of a mine or a ranch, but Mrs Hearst's boy always had his way. Young Hearst went down to the Examiner one day, and turned the office topsy turvy. 419
When there's no news make news. "You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the way," he's supposed to wire Remington in Havana.
His editorials hammered at malefactors of great wealth, trusts, the G.O.P., Mark Hanna and McKinley so shrilly that when McKinley was assassinated most Republicans in some way considered Hearst responsible for his death. Hearst retorted by renaming the Morning Journal the American and stepping back into the limelight wearing a frockcoat and a tengallon hat, presidential timber, the millionaire candidate of the common man.
["The American" was Mank's original title for CK. Kane being responsible for the presidential assassination was a major plot point in the early drafts, which ends up as a brief bit in the "News on the March" bio.]
In nineteen-eight he was running revelations about Standard Oil, the Archbold letters that proved that the trusts were greasing the palms of the politicians in a big way. He was the candidate of the Independence Party, made up almost exclusively, so his enemies claimed, of Hearst employees.
(His fellowmillionaires felt he was a traitor to his class but when he was taxed with his treason, he answered:
You know, I believe in property, and you know where I stand on personal fortunes, but isn't it better that I should represent in this country the dissatisfied than have somebody else do it who might not have the same real property relations that I may have?)
[I'll be saying more about this esp important passage in another post.]
In spite of spraying hundreds of thousand of dollars into movie-studios he failed to put over his favorite moviestar as America's sweet heart.
And more and more the emperor of newsprint retired to his fief of San Simeon of the Pacific Coast, where he assembled a zoo, continue to dabble in movingpictures, collected warehouses full of tapestries, Mexican saddles, bricabrac, china, brocade, embroidery, old chests of drawers, tables and chair, the loot of dead Europe,
built an Andalusian palace and a Moorish banquethall and there spends his last years amid the relaxing adulations of screenstars, admen, screenwriters, publicitymen, columnists, millionaire editors, a monarch of that new El Dorado...
[NB: "the loot of dead Europe"]
Until he dies the magnificent enlesslyrolling printing presses will pour out print for him, the whirring everywhere projectors will spit images for him,
a spent Caesar grown old with spending...