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published on May 1, 2020

François Raffoul

Sexual Difference and Gathering in Geschlecht III

Derrida states at the beginning of Geschlecht III that at stake is the question of sexual difference, one that is referred in Heidegger’s 1953 essay on Trakl to a twofoldness that precedes the opposition of sexual duality, a duality which, according to Derrida, neutralizes sexual difference. I follow the development of what Derrida also called the “dream” of “another sexual difference,” one that would not be ruled by the opposition of the two. Derrida’s guiding interpretation in Geschlecht III is that Heidegger privileges “gathering” (Versammlung) and the reference to the “one” in this thinking of difference, and of sexual difference, thereby neutralizing difference. Drawing a contrast between difference as polysemy (gathered) and difference as dissemination (dispersion), I attempt in what follows to discuss Derrida’s interpretation, raising questions concerning some of his readings with respect to the motifs of dispersion, dissemination, polysemy, and gathering.

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