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In the Floyd Archives: A Psycho-Bestiary Paperback – July 24, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Remember when dogs were not allowed on the furniture? Well, here a near-menagerie ends up on the couch with hilarious results that also lead to some sharp insights into human behavior. Part critical gloss on actual Freudian case histories, part postmodern humor and partly a very funny and silly series of cartoon strips (drawn by the author) of a week by week psychoanalysis of multiple characters, the book ends up as an oddly moving graphic account of the nature of human obsession, fear, longing, rage and terror. Mr. Bunnyman comes to Dr. Floyd because he is being chased by a wolf. The strictly Freudian doc understands that this is a paranoid fantasy, but has no problem devoting a separate 50 minutes to the Wolf, because the Wolfman has an alter ego, Lambskin, who wants attention as well. Before you know it, the obsessive-compulsive Ratma'am also joins the zoological roster of clients. Boxer supplies extensive footnotes from and about Freud's work to explicate her ideas, but anyone familiar with basic psychoanalytic theory will have already spotted Little Hans, the Wolf Man, Dora and the Rat Man. Boxer's conceit is both audacious and clever, and always transcends the sophomoric giddiness it exudes at first glance. She poignantly conveys Wolf Man's anxiety about his father's relationship to him when he is dressed in/as Lambskin, even as she animates Freud's castration theory. Boxer's knowledge of Freudian thought, as well as her charming and quirkily resonant images and ideas makes this an idiosyncratic book that could easily become a cult classic and a useful teaching tool.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


“The ingenious Sarah Boxer has charmingly—and with great
fun—assembled a furred and feathered repertory company,
and has provided them with comic scenes that will keep you
eavesdropping on their analytic sessions for many seasons.”
—Edward Koren

“As the story unfolded, it got funnier and funnier, and funnier,
and funnier. Suddenly it was very painful.”
—David Levine

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1 edition (July 24, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375714421
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375714429
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,277,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sarah Boxer has a gift for twists, turns, ins and outs of an outrageous set of characters. Floyd is to comic culture what jazz was to Mondrian -- inventive, subversive and inspiring. How could a journalist from the NY Times have such a fertile mind and imagination to put this work together?? Moneyman, through his depression and search for his mom, is hilarilously drawn, phyically and in character. If you like Thurber or Spiegelman, this one's for you.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laurence Jarvik on September 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sarah Boxer is a staff writer at the New York Times who has covered the cultural beat
for the past few years, often with dry humor. In her career at the paper, she has done
almost everything, from writing obituaries to working as an editor of the Book Review. Her new paperback, IN THE FLOYD ARCHIVES: A PSYCHO-BESTIARY, is not a
coffee table book, but a volume designed perhaps for the smaller kind of end tables to
be found psychiatric waiting rooms.
By creating "Bunnyman" as a patient (and apparent alter-ego) seeing "Dr. Floyd,"
Boxer takes on classic Freudian concepts, lampooning (yet perhaps at a subconscious
level paying tribute to) the power and influence of psychoanalytic thought and practice.
In another sense, it is about the conflict between the rational Ego represented by Dr.
Floyd, and the instinctual Id represented by Bunnyman, as well as a series of other
If IN THE FLOYD ARCHIVES is comedy with footnotes, the type of clever novelty
that might appeal to fans of early Woody Allen or Jules Feiffer, it is not surprising,
since Boxer says she published her first cartoon at the precocious age of eleven, and
read Freud as a teenager growing up in Denver, Colorado. There, she would leaf
through her father's copies of the New Yorker, no doubt reading the cartoons, her
only direct exposure to East Coast intellectualism prior to the undergraduate degree in
Philosophy from Harvard that resulted in her transplantation to the East. (She
currently divides her time between New York City and Cambridge, Massachussetts.)
[from The Idler, [...]
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William E. Burrows on August 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a truly original look at Freudian psychology whose very title obviously comes from Janet Malcolm's In The Freud Archives, published several years ago and excerpted in The New Yorker. It's a wonderful, entertaining, parody on core Freud. There is a serious and highly educational message in this work, but it doesn't take itself with the typical, ponderous seriousness that afflicts other work on the subject. Boxer would make one great teacher.
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