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Abstract

In his article "China as the Other in Odoric's Itinerarium" Dinu Luca discusses the various ways in which the otherness of China is approached and integrated in the fourteenth-century travel text associated with Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone. Luca explores the multiple ways in which the text can be examined in relation to Odoric, his travels, and his text. Luca takes vision as a unifying trope and explores the meanings it acquires (sight, concept, projection) as Odoric abandons the familiar space of wonder and confronts the otherness of China. Several well-known episodes are discussed and one particular exchange (known as "De reverentia magni Chanis") is read as Odoric's most significant attempt at incorporating the Other into the order of discourse and also as a means of bringing closure to the text.