Islamophobia and Constructions of Otherness in Monika Maron’s Munin oder Chaos im Kopf

Eva B. Revesz


Presented against the backdrop of the New Right movement in Germany, this analysis of Monika Maron’s novel Munin oder Chaos im Kopf (2018) is aimed at uncovering the problematic Islamophobic aspects of the novel. By comparing Maron’s recent work with the platform of the extremist AfD party and the Pegida movement, I argue that her protagonist’s fear of a hostile Islamic takeover ultimately becomes irresponsible fearmongering. The novel participates, I claim, in cultivating Islamophobia as a form of cultural racism, what Etienne Balibar refers to as neo-racism or “differentialist racism.” I conclude with a comparison between anti-Muslim racism and antisemitism, whereby in both cases a racialized Other represents a threat to the putative German Leitkultur. (EBR)

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