"Erotic Frissons" with no comment!

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"They had overlooked the possibility that the erotic frissons of reading, or even work confined to those labeled criminally insane, were an adequate solution, and so had the guerrilla fighters of Guatemala" (Eagleton 124).

While I was reading Eagleton, I wanted to know what "erotic frissons" really was.

According to the free dictionary online, "frissons are a moment of intense excitement or shudder" They also give an example that stated, "The story's ending arouses a frisson of terror" (FDO).

Do you ever read a frisson in a piece of literature?

The quote, from Eagleton, holds true in a lot of literature because any scene that is intense with action or wonder can be defined as a frisson. What about the ending of The Yellow Wallpaper. Would that be a frisson? I think so because it is an intense part of the story and the narrator causes John to become faint and no know what is occurring.

Can you think of an example of a frisson in a text?

Click here for the course web page devoted to Hamilton.

3 Comments

Derek, I couldn’t help but comment on your word of choice for the week, because guess what, frissons is a French word! Les frissons in French literally means shiver or quake, so I’d say your definition is pretty accurate. I’m not quite so sure about that erotic part though…but regardless, I see these moments of “erotic frissons” to be those times when a text psychically makes me shiver or gives me the chills. For example, when we reading Joyce’s The Dubliners, I frequently got a shiver at the end of each of the short stories. As the character was having their epiphany, I was so affected that I literally got les frissons.

Wow! I am glad that you are able to supply us, the class, with your French knowledge. I was unaware that this word was French.

Hahah! I do remember reading some texts and they gave me a chill or quick shiver. I would have to agree with you about reading Dubliners because it gave me chills sometimes as a result of the character's realizing their lives or being attracted to Ireland.

Thanks for the comment!

I agree with what Greta says, I'm not so sure about the erotic, but I often get a shiver during a climatic part of a story and feel it is an important aspect of literature. I definitely think there is a moment of frissons in "The Yellow Wallpaper" at the end!! Good find and thanks for the definition (both in English and French)!

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on March 21, 2009 9:56 AM.

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