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.
Results 1-3 of 33
Moreover , the grammatical form that the written deposition assumed tended to
suppress the dialogic encounter out of which it had emerged , thus making it
increasingly difficult to think of the witness as a second person . Ultimately , the ...
... since the oral encounter in which he gives in his testimony is never
represented in the document generated by the court : “ Is it reasonable to credit
what one judge and a hired clerk report as to the testimony of ten or twenty
One could say that in this sense , the Catholic martyr belongs to the regime of
orality , of the face - to - face encounter in a circumscribed community . And like
the strategy of staging an oral encounter to authorize a written text , the mode of ...