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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... testimony assume , with Anthony Pagden , that eyewitness narratives of the
New World shifted the criteria of testimonial authority away from the citation of
third parties and toward the assertion of the presence of an “ I ' who has seen
what no ...
den ' s “ I who has seen what no other being has seen , ” Derrida ' s witness is
defined a priori as an isolated individual . The emphasis on first - person
experience as the “ essence ” of testimony is reiterated throughout this essay and
in a ...
... have seen or heard or touched the same thing and could repeat exemplarily ,
universally , the truth of my testimony . ... the singular must be universalizable ” ) ,
as we have seen , the medieval glossaters work from the assumption that they ...