Ec-static existences: the poetics and politics of (non-)belonging in Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s Außer Sich (2017)

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This article examines the work of contemporary German Jewish writer Sasha Marianna Salzmann through the framework of Deleuze’s and Guattari’s notion of minority. Focusing on Salzmann’s debut novel Außer Sich, I investigate how the text complicates ideas of familial, national, linguistic and gendered belonging, which results in a fundamental deconstruction of the very concept and possibility of belonging. I therefore argue that the framework provided by Deleuze and Guattari needs to be extended in Salzmann’s case, by bringing it together with Judith Butler’s thoughts on the “ec-static” character of the self and interpersonal relationships. Based on Butler’s notion of ec-tasy, I demonstrate how Salzmann’s text develops an innovative politics and poetics of non-belonging, which connects their writing with a broader “postmigrant” trajectory. Apart from helping us question facile conceptions of belonging, Salzmann’s works thus also enables us to probe and potentially shift our current understanding of the cultural location of German Jewish writing.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalModern Languages Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2020