In the Floyd Archives
By Sarah Boxer
(Pantheon, Paperback, 9780375714429, 160pp.)
Publication Date: July 24, 2001
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Sarah Boxer’s charming first book is a series of cartoon case histories, an animal tour of all things Freudian. The tale begins when Mr. Bunnyman runs into Dr. Floyd’s office to hide from a wolf that is chasing him, and Floyd, a classic pipe-smoking analyst, insists that Bunnyman’s problem is psychological—that he is not actually being chased but is having paranoid fantasies. Enter Dr. Floyd’s next patient, Mr. Wolfman, a swaggering cross-dresser with a hysterical female alter ego called Lambskin (who soon insists on being treated by Floyd, too). Ratma’am rounds out the Floydian client list: she’s an obsessive-compulsive pack rat who likes giving orders and being spanked.
Drawn with a whimsical hand and complete with notes about the Freudian sources to which these archives pay affectionate tribute, the adventures of these animals reveal both the unintended comedy of Freud’s case histories and their psychic depths.
Sarah Boxer was born in Denver, Colorado, and earned her B.A. in philosophy at Harvard. She is a critic and reporter at the New York Times, where she writes about photography, psychoanalysis, art, animals, philosophy, and other subjects. At the age of eleven she published her first cartoon and at fifteen she began reading Freud. She lives with her husband in New York City and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
“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.”
“As the story unfolded, it got funnier and funnier, and funnier,
and funnier. Suddenly it was very painful.”