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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Rob Warden , executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at
Northwestern University ' s School of Law , asserts that “ erroneous eyewitness
testimony - whether offered in good faith or perjured – no doubt is the single
When one takes account of the multiple influences that shape eyewitness
testimony – the impact of many of which can be measured with technology no
more advanced than paper and pen – the common sense belief that such
testimony is one ...
As a result , we have no gauge by which to measure the value of Alcofribas ' s
eyewitness testimony Like Rabelais ' s traveller - narrator , eyewitness historians
in the sixteenth century will openly struggle to articulate a perspective that is ...