Ransmayr, Christoph

Tagged: Author

(1954-    ) Austrian author, later resident in Ireland, whose 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. 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, and a kind of endless half-war continues to ravage the desiccated terrain, inscribing indelible signatures of defeat. 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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