A fresh, provocative look at one of the most enigmatic figures in the history of film by "one of our most acute cultural critics"--Paul Fussell
From the Back Cover
Peter Conrad, author of The Hitchcock Murders
, now turns his eye to the mercurial life and work of the enigmatic maestro who made Citizen Kane, remembered to this day as the greatest of all motion pictures.
In death, Orson Welles remains a legendary, outsized, and ambiguous figure. Conrads study is a critical biography of Welles, viewing the man through the optic of his sprawling and yet utterly singular body of work. This is not a debunking of the well-aired Welles-as-Genius myth so much as an attempt to identify and examine the wellsprings of his polymorphous gifts.
At times (and fittingly, given his well-known fondness for magic) Orson Welles seemed to be capable of anything; and yet finally he achieved only a fraction of what he had hoped to. Peter Conrad goes in search of the man through expert examination of the many and varied personae that Welles adopted from Faust to Falstaff, The Shadow to Harry Lime in a life lived at large across stage, screen, and airwaves.