Ransmayr, Christoph

Tagged: Author

(1954-    ) Austrian author, in Ireland 1994-2006. His second novel, Die letzte Welt (1988; trans John E Woods as The Last World: A Novel with an Ovidian Repertory 1990), is an allegorical fantasy in which a search for Ovid in exile metamorphoses into a dialogue between the authoritarian terror of Rome and the Water Margins of life on the frontier of things; contemporary images intersect constantly with images from Ovid's dying world [for Ovid and Water Margins see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]. Of sf interest is Morbus Kitahara (1995; trans John E Woods as The Dog King 1997), an Alternate History in which, after World War Two, Germany is deindustrialized, though the focus of the tale is the small city of Moor (see Keep), whose inhabitants are required yearly to perform in pantomime the horrors of the Holocaust. There is a Modernist defiance in Ransmayr's transformations of the clichés that designate the contemporary world that may share roots of inspiration with the early paintings of Gerhard Richter (1932-    ); though he is by no means a comfortable creator of Fantastika, he cannot, all the same, be thought of as a Mainstream Writer of SF. [JC]

Christoph Ransmayr

born Wels, Austria: 20 March 1954




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