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Wednesday, August 06, 2003
A bit more about Walter Mitty

The No-Grace Kelly (Tom) show doesn't appear to have gone away. Several letters in today's Guardian - a paper that knows Walter Mitty was a creation by Thurber before the fantasist had a secret life in a film starring Danny Kaye - make the point that there are more demonstrably Mitty-like characters on the current political scene. For example:
The "Walter Mitty syndrome" is a recognised clinical condition involving compulsive fantasising - usually by a rather mild-mannered, affable, even attractive character seeking to inject excitement and a sense of self-importance into his otherwise humdrum routine. If anyone comes to mind, it's... oh, but perhaps not. I don't think Walter Mitty ever went to war.
Hmm. I'm not sure that I recognise anyone, here. How about
For a close colleague of Tony Blair to hint that Dr Kelly may be a "Walter Mitty character" seems to me to be the height of irony.
Closer, but no coconut. This one's getting closer:
I think Whitehall's search for WMCs (Walter Mitty characters) is misplaced. Surely, one is on holiday in the Bahamas and the other is on his ranch in Texas?
No, I think that if one is looking for an appropriate fictional comparison for our dear leader(s), one has to consider the principal character in one of the late John Schlesinger's films: 'Billy Liar'.

[For pedants (and movie buffs), this film was based on a novel by Keith Waterhouse. The screenplay, by the author and Willis Hall was based on the stage play by the same pairing]

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