This article analyzes Jenny Erpenbeck's Gehen, ging, gegangen as a story about the relationship between precarity and violence and the distinctive types of violence that mark the lives of war refugees. This article argues that Erpenbeck juxtaposes precarity with a sense of homey permanence that is based on routine and financial, political, and social security. She does this to expose the obsolescence of European asylum laws and reflect the deep meaning of home and rootedness, which are thematic foci of her novel. For Erpenbeck, precarity exhibits a structure that has its foundation in the violence of expulsion and marginalization, a structure that Erpenbeck signifies with the principal parts of verbs. In this grammar she demonstrates the failure of the Dublin system to recognize certain kinds of violence and economic destitution as politically acknowledgeable and asylum-worthy.


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pp. 504-521
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