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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Moreover , unlike modern “ character witnessing , ” to which it bears an
undeniable resemblance , compurgatory testimony was often the sole evidence
upon which juridical verdicts were based in medieval folklaw . By testifying to the
child ' s ...
... witness as the embodiment of a stable , enduring ethos . Moreover , no amount
of extra time granted to a party could realistically be expected to allow him to form
the kind of relationship with a witness that the old ethical objections against ...
Moreover , as Philippe Nemo paraphrases it in a conversation with LÚvinas , “
there is an infinity in this ethical demand ” ( 101 ) that this one - for - the - other
entails . The debt to the Other is never paid in full , but persists as an infinite ...