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The Invention of the Eyewitness: Witnessing and Testimony in Early Modern France (review)

The Invention of the Eyewitness: Witnessing and Testimony in Early Modern France (review) 04-Reviews_295-326 6/24/05 8:22 AM Page 297 Reviews 297 Brophy’s four selected subjects are exemplary in that each finds some way to disrupt and contest normalizing homophobic discourse about AIDS, and Brophy is very resourceful and attentive to detail in tracing out the contri- butions of each. The writing, though occasionally dense, is generally more than competent and at times eloquent. She comes to the project as the niece of a man who died of AIDS; she is herself, then, in the position of a mourn- er. As might be expected, then, her readings are more supportive than criti- cal. I may be a minority of one in finding Kincaid’s book about her brother at times gratuitously dismissive of him. (My sense is that, because of her stature and her political credentials, Kincaid gets away with saying things about her brother that would be harshly criticized if said by anyone else.) Bro- phy quotes, but tends to excuse, some of the (to me) most offensive passages: e.g., “Nothing came from him; not work, not children, not love for someone else” (175). Here I think Brophy’s identification with the mourner may have unduly conditioned her response. Anger at those who die http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

The Invention of the Eyewitness: Witnessing and Testimony in Early Modern France (review)

Biography , Volume 28 (2) – Aug 3, 2005

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

04-Reviews_295-326 6/24/05 8:22 AM Page 297 Reviews 297 Brophy’s four selected subjects are exemplary in that each finds some way to disrupt and contest normalizing homophobic discourse about AIDS, and Brophy is very resourceful and attentive to detail in tracing out the contri- butions of each. The writing, though occasionally dense, is generally more than competent and at times eloquent. She comes to the project as the niece of a man who died of AIDS; she is herself, then, in the position of a mourn- er. As might be expected, then, her readings are more supportive than criti- cal. I may be a minority of one in finding Kincaid’s book about her brother at times gratuitously dismissive of him. (My sense is that, because of her stature and her political credentials, Kincaid gets away with saying things about her brother that would be harshly criticized if said by anyone else.) Bro- phy quotes, but tends to excuse, some of the (to me) most offensive passages: e.g., “Nothing came from him; not work, not children, not love for someone else” (175). Here I think Brophy’s identification with the mourner may have unduly conditioned her response. Anger at those who die

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Aug 3, 2005

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