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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Mandeville invites his readers to follow in his footsteps . Whether they will be
willing to do so depends less on the fact that Mandeville casts his account of the
East as an experience than on the potential affinity his audience feels for his
comes theoretically available to a potentially much larger group of people than
Mandeville ' s ( and indeed , it is certainly more accessible to a modern reader
than is Mandeville ' s book , for many of the same reasons it failed to convince a ...
ness ' s physical body , Léry ' s self - citations continually send the reader back
and forth inside of his account ( conceived of as the Histoire together with its
manuscript antecedents ) . Léry ' s turn away from physical experience and
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THE WITNESS AND THE JUDGE
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