Re-Imagining the World in an Era of Globalization: Christoph Ransmayr’s Atlas eines ängstlichen Mannes

Christoph Schaub


This article analyzes literary world-making in Christoph Ransmayr’s Atlas eines ängstlichen Mannes against the background of current debates about globalization and from a planetary studies perspective. Performing a particular response to time-space compression and to imaginaries of cultural homogenization, Ransmayr’s text expands what is intelligible as part of the planetary condition and decelerates the pace at which it can be perceived. The text’s poetics favor isolation over interconnection; they suspend temporal linearity and instead emphasize a layering through which different histories, at times even different temporalities, are present at the same time in the same place. Through its representation of history and geography, Atlas destabilizes Eurocentric meaning-making. It constructs an imaginary of planetary belonging that goes beyond cosmopolitanism’s anthropocentric framework while never moving explicitly into ethical or political spheres.

View Full Text

This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.

Purchase access

You may purchase access to this article. This will require you to create an account if you don't already have one.