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 , as I discuss at more length in chapter five , early written records of
inquisitional testimony were not considered to be testimony in another form ; they
were , rather , considered purely as memory aids . They did not count as
... a Christian . Whether one takes this comment to support Larner ' s view that
Polo ' s book was considered important , or Critchley ' s contention that it was
considered unremarkable , then , it clearly 54 THE INVENTION OF THE
... have analogy as a privileged trope in a text generally considered to be a
triumph of early modern anthropological science ; on the other , we have analogy
associated with all that came to be considered unscientific , and thus deemed