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Christoph Ransmayr

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Christoph Ransmayr
(photo by Johannes Cizek)

Christoph Ransmayr (Austrian German pronunciation: [ˈkrɪstɔf ˈransmaɪ̯ɐ]; born 20 March 1954) is an Austrian writer.


Born in Wels, Upper Austria, Ransmayr grew up in Roitham near Gmunden and the Traunsee.[1][2] From 1972 to 1978 he studied philosophy and ethnology in Vienna.[3] He worked there as cultural editor for the newspaper Extrablatt from 1978 to 1982, also publishing articles and essays in GEO, TransAtlantik and Merian.[3] After his novel Die letzte Welt was published in 1988, he traveled extensively across Ireland, Asia, North and South America. This is reflected in his works, where he looks at life as a tourist and believes that good writing needs ignorance, speechlessness, light luggage, curiosity, or at least a willingness not only to judge the world, but to experience it. In 1994 he moved to West Cork, Ireland, as a friend offered to lease him a splendid house on the Atlantic coast for a very affordable rent.

In his prose, Ransmayr combines historical facts with fiction. His novels portray cross-border experiences and weave historical events with the present time. The combination of exciting plots and demanding forms in his first two novels brought him praise, attention from literary studies, and numerous literary prizes.

Ransmayr achieved international success with his novel The Last World (1988), a rewrite of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. His novel Morbus Kitahara (1995) is named after an eye disease which leads to an increasing narrowing of the field of vision. It is a metaphor for the moral defect afflicting the main characters, survivors of World War II, in a devastated no man's land.

In 1997 Ransmayr read his short story Die dritte Luft oder Eine Bühne am Meer, written for this occasion, as a keynote speech for the Salzburg Festival. After his marriage in the Spring of 2006 Ransmayr returned to live in Vienna. His play Odysseus, Verbrecher was performed in Dortmund as part of the RUHR.2010 events.

In 2018 he received the Nicolas Born Prize for his literary works to date.[4]



  • Strahlender Untergang, together with Willy Puchner, 1982, ISBN 3-85447-006-1
  • Die Schrecken des Eises und der Finsternis, 1984, ISBN 3-85447-043-6
  • Die letzte Welt, 1988, ISBN 3-89190-244-1
  • Morbus Kitahara, 1995, ISBN 3-10-062908-6
  • Der Weg nach Surabaya, 1997, ISBN 3-10-062916-7
  • Die dritte Luft, oder Eine Bühne am Meer, 1997, ISBN 3-10-062920-5
  • Die Unsichtbare. Tirade an drei Stränden, 2001, ISBN 3-10-062924-8
  • Der Ungeborene, oder Die Himmelsareale des Anselm Kiefer, 2002, ISBN 3-10-062925-6
  • Die Verbeugung des Riesen. Vom Erzählen, 2003, ISBN 3-10-062926-4
  • Geständnisse eines Touristen. Ein Verhör, 2004, ISBN 3-10-062927-2
  • Der fliegende Berg, 2006, ISBN 978-3-10-062936-4
  • Damen & Herren unter Wasser, together with Manfred Wakolbinger, 2007, ISBN 978-3-10-062937-1
  • Odysseus, Verbrecher. Schauspiel einer Heimkehr, 2010, ISBN 978-3-10-062945-6
  • Der Wolfsjäger. Drei polnische Duette, together with Martin Pollack, 2011, ISBN 978-3-10-062950-0
  • Atlas eines ängstlichen Mannes, 2012, ISBN 978-3-10-062951-7
  • Gerede: Elf Ansprachen, 2014, ISBN 978-3-10-062952-4
  • Cox oder Der Lauf der Zeit, 2016, ISBN 978-3-10-082951-1
  • Der Fallmeister. Eine kurze Geschichte vom Töten., 2021, ISBN 978-3-10-002288-2

English editions[edit]


  1. ^ Janker, Karin (5 November 2018). "Christoph Ransmayr". Süddeutsche.de (in German). Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  2. ^ Jandl, Paul (27 August 2017). "Für Moden habe ich keine Zeit". DIE WELT (in German). Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Literaturhaus Wien: Ransmayr Christoph". www.literaturhaus.at. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Nicolas-Born-Preise 2018 / Hauptpreis an Christoph Ransmayr". www.boersenblatt.net (in German). Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Kleist-Preis geht an Autor Christoph Ransmayr". Die Welt (in German). Berlin. 14 February 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2019.

External links[edit]