Well, I can only encourage you to seek out the Rosenbaum book if you haven't already read the articles. I think some of the strongest pieces are "Othello Goes Hollywood, "The Seven Arkadins", "The Battle over Orson Welles", "Orson Welles's Essay Films and Documentary Fictions: A Two-part Speculation" and "Orson Welles as Ideological Challenge". I believe these are some of the best pieces ever written on Welles.
And did you watch the Rosebaum interview on video?
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 9941473528
I honestly think Rosenbaum is the greatest living writer on Welles. Who, in my opinion, was the greatest of all? I would have to say Bazin, who I often re-read. Coincidentally, Rosenbaum has written in his book that when he translated the Bazin Welles in the 70s (which was written just before Bazin's death in 1958) he was unaware that the first Bazin book on Welles (c. 52) was a much superior. I dream that someday Rosenbaum can translate the first and present the two together to an English audience.
I'm with you on Higham, Callow and Thompson's work, but must say that the first Higham in 1970 was the first large format book on Welles and contained stills of great quality for the first time. Also, Higham did much good original research, especially on I't's All True'. If he hadn't spoiled the book with the psycho-babble of his notorious "Fear of Completion" idea, then the book would still be repected today. But Higham isn't the first psycho-babbler on Welles: Maurice Bessy has some incredible ideas about Welles's psyche, just as far-fetched as Higham's, but gets away with them because he can never be seen to be attacking Welles; indeed, they were friends. And even Peter Noble ahd some Psycho-scribbling, but again is firmly in the "I support Welles" camp, and also knew Welles. Rosenbaum makes an interesting point that the earlier biographers/writers on Welles often knew him, or at least has interviewed him (like Rosenbaum), so they had varying degrees of a sense of the man. But as time has gone on, increasingly writers have never met him, and increasingly have become attacking, assigning blame and engaging in psycho-babble. I think this is an important point.
As rearding your statement that "Like you, I'm interested primarily in the work and in the interviews Welles gave" I am, of course, in total agreement, and have felt since I was a boy that the very best way to get to know the artist is through primary materials: the artist's work and their commenting on their work. This is how I came to know Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Glenn Gould and others.
I suspected that you and Todd collaborated on that post, just to confuse me. But is it possible that you are one and the same person- or that all of you are Glenn? Or Jeff? Or-gulp-me?
As regarding the Mercury volumes, I was just thinking yesterday that someone should publish them all together, in replica form with Welles's wonderfull sketches, not just for hisorical purposes, but because the style is so contemporary with today that I think thay could still be used in high schools and by amateur theatre groups.
Thanks for an interesting thread!