Literature and art and music have a long and storied (sordid?) history of key characters offing themselves ingloriously, with the strange effect that sometimes this offing increases their legend, and thus, the profundity and damage of their work, to previously unthinkable levels. Consider the cases of Hemingway, Van Gogh, and Cobain for a top-level sampler platter of this phenomenon, and we all know the list is much longer. On that longer list there is a question mark next to the name Weldon Kees—a mid-twentieth-century writer of acclaim, he mysteriously disappeared to, potentially, a new life in Mexico, or alternately, his self-ordained doom at the hands of the Golden Gate Bridge. Kathleen Rooney, the dynamic founding editor of Rose Metal Press, explores Kees’ story in Robinson Alone, her phenomenal and groundbreaking new novel-in-poems. We called up Rooney to talk Kees, plagiarism, and, of course, cross-dressing.
Click here to read the interview!