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Out of mind

Our minds are partly shaped by mimicry, which is why Phil makes me feel alert and Jeff leaves me empty — and why Tony Blair apes the way George W Bush walks

By Paul Broks   January 2005

Every three or four weeks a face would appear at the glass panel of my office door. It was a pale, cartoon face and belonged to Philip. He never made appointments. Nor did he knock on the door. He just stood there looking in until I noticed and beckoned him through. He would stay for half an hour or so, standing all the while and bobbing slightly like a puppet, then leave without announcement, sometimes mid-sentence. Our conversations were fractured. “Do you think my internal organs are made of Lego?” he would say, or, “I’m visible now, am I?” There…

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