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Death and TensesPosthumous Presence in Early Modern France$
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Neil Kenny

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198754039

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198754039.001.0001

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Death and Tenses

Neil Kenny

Oxford University Press

Part II showed that tenses were fundamental to early modern rituals of dying, burying, and mourning. One strand within such rituals was the representation of the actions and words that the deceased had performed and produced during his or her life. In Part III the role of tenses in this strand is examined more closely, but with the focus no longer on the ritual dimension. This first section of Part III focuses on how dead people’s non-verbal actions were represented as providing them with posthumous presence, through three interconnected routes: (i) the system of exemplarity; (ii) history-writing; (iii) one of the deceased person’s faculties—his or her will—being extended and continued through the actions of the living.

Keywords:   Nicolas Caussin, Jean D’Auton, Joachim Du Bellay, exemplarity, history-writing, Pierre Matthieu, posthumous presence, Tacitus, tense

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