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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If we return to Derrida ' s essays , we may note that in contrast to Baldus and
Danty , he proposes that testimony “ claims absolutely ” the " value of truth . ”
Taking his presuppositions from the phenomenological tradition with which he is
While Gonneville and his companions are obviously the agents of Essomericq ' s
capture , their deposition on the topic is not cast in the first person and does not
overtly claim a privileged point of view . This is because , as we learned from ...
Since the validity of my claim ultimately depends on the fact that these
displacements are not just occasional occurrences in the Histoire , but rather its
characteristic mode of “ representing ” Brazil , I supply some statistics here . In
chapter nine ...