Narration and confabulation in Christoph Ransmayr’s “The Dog’s King” (1995).

  • Emanuela Ferragamo
Keywords: Ransmayr, smooth space, Michelian, confabulation


In The King of Dogs, Ransmayr imagines what would have happened, if the Allies had applied the Morgenthau-Plan after the Second World-War. The novel is set in the fictional province of «Moor» (a speaking name for «bog»), a deserted, underdeveloped American protectorate in Austria. The General Stellamour rules the region through an ex-inmate in the Mauthausen-Camp, Ambras. His driver and bodyguard is Bering, «Moor»’s blacksmith. During a ride in the mountains, Bering sees a black spot on his right eye: it is the first symptom of the post-traumatic eye-condition of «Morbus Kitahara». Fearing to lose his job, Bering keeps his disease to himself. Trying to make sense of what is happening to him, he starts confabulating. Applying to Deleuze and Guattari’s conception of «smooth spaces», the paper examines Bering’s understanding of his own eye-disease in the context of the deep interdependence between space-orientation and writing in Ransmayr. The black spots of the «morbus Kitahara» are a way to investigate the failed attempt to reshape a personal approach to space. Referring to Michelian’s theory, the paper reduces to «confabulation» Bering’s false certainty that Lily, with whom he is in love, has an affair with Ambras.


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How to Cite
Ferragamo, E. (2022) “Narration and confabulation in Christoph Ransmayr’s ‘The Dog’s King’ (1995).”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio. doi: 10.4396/SFL2021A13.