the Big Bad Wolf Syndrome

nils at nils at
Sat Mar 15 14:51:18 CET 2008

Thomas Hylland Eriksen is a professor of social anthropology
at the University of Oslo, and publishes widely [and perhaps
wildly], both technical articles for specialist audiences and
books for the general public. Particularly well-known is his
"Øyeblikkets tyranni", the Tyrrany of the Moment:

His most recent book is "The Big Bad Wolf Syndrome"
The book title refers to a specific Storeulv story, which
I myself remember in detail, but I need to know when
it was published (which WD Comics & Stories, and which
Norwegian Donald Duck & Co.). The main point is the
following: For once BBW has really managed to catch
the Three Little Pigs, his life's main ambition is attained;
they are placed in the proverbial steaming pot, ready
to die and to give their lives and bodies to a feast of
a meal. He is half a metre away from his Mount Everest!

But then Practical Pig (Storebror, or Big Brother, in Norwegian)
with his last efforts manages to get the also proverbial
apple out of his mouth, and asks BBW: What about tomorrow?

This is of course a stroke of genius. In the Life After
Mt Everest, what can get him up in the morning, what
can fire his imagination, what is the purpose of BBW's life
after having eaten TLP? Utterly baffled, he is given
the supreme albeit confusing insight that his life will
not quite be worth living without the TLP to hunt for
and lust for and plan for, so he sets them free.

I do think the crux of this story is a clear enough parallel
to the main point of the Nobel-prize winning Albert Camus's
essay about Sisyphos.

Again, I'd be grateful if someone could give us the
precise WD C&S and DD & Co. reference to the
Storeulv story.

Nils Lid Hjort

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