The Invention of the Eyewitness: Witnessing and Testimony in Early Modern France
In an examination of eyewitness travel writing in thirteenth- through sixteenth-century France, Andrea Frisch studies the figure of the witness at a historical juncture and in a cultural context in which that figure is generally thought to have begun to assume a recognizably modern form and function.
Whereas most accounts of early modern travel literature tend to read modern presuppositions about witnessing and testimony back into the material, Frisch approaches the early modern witness in terms of the cultural legacy of the Middle Ages. Through primary readings in law and theology, Frisch documents the tension between the ethical witness (the characteristic witness of premodernity) and the epistemic witness (the modern witness) and explores the impact of that tension on the figure of the witness in pre- and early modern French-language travel literature.
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Spanish counterparts , and these differences will condition the emergence of a
specifically French first person , as well as a peculiarly French rhetoric of
eyewitness testimony , that will be enormously influential in the modern period .
The lack of any stable French - sponsored enterprise in America , along with the
inability of French sovereigns to contain the religious conflicts that coursed
through France throughout the sixteenth century , sapped the power of
In a paratactic rush of communication that brings to mind the image of a modern -
day third - base coach , the French explain why they plant the cross , what
European objects they plan to bring upon their imminent return , that they wished