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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Similarly , a witness ' s signature on a contract did not initially stand in for him in
his absence ; as a record of his presence at some prior moment , it actually
required his reappearance ( and his renewed attestation ) in order to function as
One of the narrative functions of this “ nous ” is to bridge the distance between the
New World and the Old , and thus to posit an ... Another function of this pronoun ,
however , is to serve as an index of a first - person experience that potentially ...
Calvin ' s version of Christ ' s presence suggests that a leap of faith on the part of
the recipient ( the reader , the addressee ) is in the end necessary if the
mechanism of representation is to function successfully . Though God ' s
presence in ...