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Orson Welles

"Citizen Kane - Opening Narration"

[Charles Foster Kane]
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree - - Legendary was the Xanadu where Kubla Khan decreed his stately pleasure dome. Today, almost as legendary is Florida's Xanadu, world's largest private pleasure ground. Here, on the deserts of the Gulf Coast, a private mountain was commissioned and successfully built. One hundred thousand trees, twenty thousand tons of marble are the ingredients of Xanadu's mountain. Contents of Xanadu's palace: paintings, pictures, statues, the very stones of many another palace. A collection of everything. So big it can never be catalogued or appraised. Enough for ten museums - the loot of the world. Xanadu's livestock: the fowl of the air, the fish of the sea, the beast of the field and jungle. Two of each, the biggest private zoo since Noah. Like the Pharaohs, Xanadu's landlord leaves many stones to mark his grave. Since the pyramids, Xanadu is the costliest monument a man has built to himself...

(continuing later) Twice married, twice divorced. First to a president's niece, Emily Norton, who left him in 1916. Died 1918 in a motor accident with their son. Sixteen years after his first marriage, two weeks after his first divorce, Kane married Susan Alexander, singer at the Town Hall in Trenton, New Jersey. For wife two, one-time opera singing Susan Alexander, Kane built Chicago's Municipal Opera House. Cost: $3 million dollars. Conceived for Susan Alexander Kane, half-finished before she divorced him, the still-unfinished Xanadu. Cost? No man can say...

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