Edited by:Geoffrey Bennington, Katie Chenoweth, and Rodrigo Therezo
Translated by:Katie Chenoweth and Rodrigo Therezo
University of Chicago Press
A significant event in Derrida scholarship, this book marks the first publication of his long-lost philosophical text known only as “Geschlecht III.” The third, and arguably the most significant, piece in his four-part
Geschlecht series, it fills a gap that has perplexed Derrida scholars. The series centers on Martin Heidegger and the enigmatic German word
Geschlecht, which has several meanings pointing to race, sex, and lineage. Throughout the series, Derrida engages with Heidegger’s controversial oeuvre to tease out topics of sexual difference, nationalism, race, and humanity. In Geschlecht III, he calls attention to Heidegger’s problematic nationalism, his work’s political and sexual themes, and his promise of salvation through the coming of the “One
Geschlecht,” a sentiment that Derrida found concerningly close to the racial ideology of the Nazi party.
Amid new revelations about Heidegger’s anti-Semitism and the contemporary context of nationalist resurgence, this third piece of the
Geschlecht series is timelier and more necessary than ever. Meticulously edited and expertly translated, this volume brings Derrida’s mysterious and much awaited text to light.
Jacques Derrida (1930–2004) was director of studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, and professor of humanities at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of many books published by the University of Chicago Press.
Geoffrey Bennington is the Asa G. Candler Professor of Modern French Thought at Emory University. He is the author of several books on Derrida and translator of many others by him.
Katie Chenoweth is associate professor of French at Princeton university and the director of Bibliothèque Derrida at Éditions du Seuil and of the digital humanities project,
Rodrigo Therezo is editor of several books and the translator of Peter Trawny’s
Martin Heidegger: A Critical Introduction.
“The publication of Derrida’s third essay on the theme of
Geschlecht—sex, generation, race, genus, gender—is a long-awaited event.
Geschlecht III is in fact the keystone to all four essays under this rubric. Here, in a seminar from 1984-85, Derrida confronts Heidegger’s uncanny interpretation of Georg Trakl’s poetry, where figures of the brother, the sister, and lovers loom large. The volume, impeccably edited and translated, is crucial for questions of sex and gender, but also for discussions of philosophy and literature generally.”
— David Farrell Krell, Emeritus, DePaul University
"This is a well-conceived reconstruction of the hitherto missing central piece of Derrida’s
Geschlecht III testifies again to the subtlety and insightfulness of Derrida’s reading of Heidegger. It is a provocative reading that exposes the tendency toward gathering and unity in Heidegger’s thought as it explores anew questions such as a non-dual sexuality, the foreign and the homeland, history and nationalism."
— Daniela Vallega-Neu, University of Oregon
Geschlecht IIIexplores in greater depth than we have ever seen before the linguistic and conceptual strategies of Heidegger’s text, in the course of an account of Heidegger’s reading of Georg Trakl. The book comprises perhaps the closest reading of a single Heideggerian text that we have, and demonstrates both an extraordinary patience on Derrida’s part and the tenacity of his engagement with Heidegger, which are even more extreme than we might already have suspected.”
— Michael Lewis, author of The Beautiful Animal: Sincerity, Charm, and the Fossilised Dialectic
“In this strange, searching text, painstakingly reassembled and masterfully presented by the editors, it is as though all of Derrida’s thought passes through the needle’s eye of the German word (or
Geschlecht. Derrida’s brilliant and persuasive critique of Heidegger’s "philosophical nationalism" also reveals itself to be a subtle interrogation of some of deconstruction’s most cherished thematics: care for the idiom and the untranslatable, the opening of philosophy to literature, the
différanceof the proper.
Geschlecht IIIis a crucial document for understanding Derrida’s own trajectory and his ever-evolving relation to Heidegger, and it is also a wide-ranging meditation on the modern triangulation of literature, philosophy, and politics.”
— Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz, editor of Handsomely Done: Aesthetics, Politics, and Media after Melville
Geschlecht III opens a new chapter in the relation between Derrida and Heidegger, constituting an essential piece not only of Derrida’s
Geschlecht series, but of his engagement with Heidegger’s work as a whole. With meticulous care, Derrida interrogates Heidegger’s thinking on questions of language, nationalism, the homeland and the foreign, and sexual difference, all the while sensitive to the particularities of Heidegger’s German, and the challenges of rendering it into a French philosophical idiom.
Geschlecht III is a masterclass in reading, in translating, and in reading and translating as a practice of philosophical thinking.”
— Samir Haddad, author of Derrida and the Inheritance of Democracy