Just something I thought was awesome for reals …
— Ryan Bradley (@theryanbradley) December 17, 2013
I actually saw this tweet and read the linked piece late last night/early this morning, as I stayed up with our five-week-old son. However, it stood up against all comers as today’s Internet Win, and not just because my sleep-deprived state shrouded it in mystery. This recognition also has nothing to do with me trying to convince you to go see a Ben Stiller movie.
Rather, it’s in part because of that movie that I wanted to call attention to the man who wrote The Secret Life of Walter Mitty more than 70 years ago, humorist James Thurber.
Thurber is one of the greatest ever in the humor field but is unknown to many people today, such that even as someone who had read The Secret Life of Walter Mitty as part of The Thurber Carnival collection, I didn’t make the connection between author and movie until doing a Google search.
This, then, is not only my penance for that oversight but also an excuse to include maybe my favorite quote about what it is to write humor (you can judge for yourself how well I succeed at that); it comes from the “About James Thurber” section of the Harper Perennial edition of The Thurber Carnival:
“Journalist Henry Brandon suggested that Thurber’s secret was ‘a warm heart and an angry mind.'”
Perfect. Just perfect.
Of course, there’s also the fact that The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a pretty great short story. I hope you’ll click on one of the links above or right here and take 10 or 15 minutes to read it. You won’t be disappointed.
The point for today’s Internet Win gets split between Ryan Bradley (@theryanbradley), senior editor at Fortune, and Entertainment Weekly’s Lindsey Bahr (@ldbahr), who retweeted Ryan’s tweet into my timeline.
I’m so glad she did.