Item Details

Eyewitness and Crusade Narrative: Perception and Narration in Accounts of the Second, Third and Fourth Crusades

Marcus Bull
Format
Book
Published
Woodbridge : The Boydell Press, 2018.
Language
English
Series
Crusading in Context
ISBN
1783273356, 9781783273355
Summary
"'Eyewitness' is a familiar label that historians apply to numerous pieces of evidence. It carries compelling connotations of trustworthiness and particular proximity to the lived experience of historical actors. But it has received surprisingly little critical attention. This book seeks to open up discussion of what we mean when we label a historical source in this way. Through a close analysis of accounts of the Second, Third and Fourth Crusades, as well as an in-depth discussion of recent research by cognitive and social psychologists into perception and memory, the book challenges historians of the Middle Ages to revisit their often unexamined assumptions about the place of eyewitness narratives within the taxonomies of historical evidence. It is for the most part impossible to situate the authors of the texts studied here, viewed as historical actors, in precise spatial and temporal relation to the action that they purport to describe. Nor can we ever be truly certain what they actually saw. In what, therefore, does the authors' eyewitness status reside, and is this, indeed, a valid category of analysis? This book argues that the most productive way in which to approach the figure of the autoptic author is not as some floating presence close to historical events, validating our knowledge of them, but as an artefact of the text's meaning-making operations, in particular as these are opened up to scrutiny by narratological concepts such as the narrator, focalization and storyworld. The conclusion that emerges is that there is no single understanding of eyewitness running through the texts, for all their substantive and thematic similarities; each fashions its narratorial voice in different ways as a function of its particular storytelling strategies."--Page 4 of cover.
Contents
  • Medieval and modern approaches to eyewitnessing and narratology as an analytical tool
  • Memory and psychological research into eyewitnessing
  • The Second Crusade: the De expugnatione lynbonensi and Odo of Deuil's De profectione Ludovici VII in orientem
  • The Third Crusade: Ambroise's Estoire de la guerre sainte and points of comparison and contrast
  • Geoffrey of Villehardouin's and Robert of Clari's narratives of the Fourth Crusade.
Description
x, 396 pages ; 24 cm.
Notes
Includes bibliographical references (pages 346-385) and index.
Technical Details

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    a| Woodbridge : b| The Boydell Press, c| 2018.
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    a| x, 396 pages ; c| 24 cm.
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    a| Medieval and modern approaches to eyewitnessing and narratology as an analytical tool -- Memory and psychological research into eyewitnessing -- The Second Crusade: the De expugnatione lynbonensi and Odo of Deuil's De profectione Ludovici VII in orientem -- The Third Crusade: Ambroise's Estoire de la guerre sainte and points of comparison and contrast -- Geoffrey of Villehardouin's and Robert of Clari's narratives of the Fourth Crusade.
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    a| "'Eyewitness' is a familiar label that historians apply to numerous pieces of evidence. It carries compelling connotations of trustworthiness and particular proximity to the lived experience of historical actors. But it has received surprisingly little critical attention. This book seeks to open up discussion of what we mean when we label a historical source in this way. Through a close analysis of accounts of the Second, Third and Fourth Crusades, as well as an in-depth discussion of recent research by cognitive and social psychologists into perception and memory, the book challenges historians of the Middle Ages to revisit their often unexamined assumptions about the place of eyewitness narratives within the taxonomies of historical evidence. It is for the most part impossible to situate the authors of the texts studied here, viewed as historical actors, in precise spatial and temporal relation to the action that they purport to describe. Nor can we ever be truly certain what they actually saw. In what, therefore, does the authors' eyewitness status reside, and is this, indeed, a valid category of analysis? This book argues that the most productive way in which to approach the figure of the autoptic author is not as some floating presence close to historical events, validating our knowledge of them, but as an artefact of the text's meaning-making operations, in particular as these are opened up to scrutiny by narratological concepts such as the narrator, focalization and storyworld. The conclusion that emerges is that there is no single understanding of eyewitness running through the texts, for all their substantive and thematic similarities; each fashions its narratorial voice in different ways as a function of its particular storytelling strategies."--Page 4 of cover.
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    a| Crusades y| Second, 1147-1149 v| Personal narratives.
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    a| Crusades y| Third, 1189-1192 v| Personal narratives.
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    a| Crusades y| Fourth, 1202-1204 v| Personal narratives.
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    a| Narration (Rhetoric)
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    a| Crusades v| Sources.
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    a| Crusading in context.
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    a| D157 .B885 2018 w| LC i| X032561331 l| STACKS m| CLEMONS t| BOOK

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