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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In chapter 28 , as Pantagruel prepares for the duel with the evil Loup Garou that
Edwin Duval positions as the “ epic climax ” of the narrative , Alcofribas enjoys
relatively unlimited knowledge and mobility with respect to Pantagruel ' s world .
Unlike the Gargantua of the chroniques , Pantagruel does not sleep through the
narrative ' s detour into his mouth . Pantagruel is not only fully awake during
Alcofribas ' s trip inside his mouth , he also continues to have adventures ( six
While mortal combat rages in Pantagruel ' s world , Alcofribas has retreated to the
relatively peaceful confines of the world in Pantagruel ' s mouth . When Alcofribas
enters Pantagruel ' s mouth , his narrative perspective no longer mediates the ...