Naomi Waltham-Smith is giving an invited talk at a conference on Sex, Race, Nation, Humanity: Derrida’s Geschlecht III at Goldsmiths on 8–9 April 2019 to celebrate the publication of this newly discovered text.
Paper Title: “Unflappable”
Abstract: Taking off from the Flügelschlag or coup d’aile in Trakl’s poem to which the “Ein” of “Ein Geschlecht” responds with the Grundton of the Gedicht, this paper explores the play of sonorousness and silence in Geschlecht III. I go down two paths, sounding out two sets of echoes. One traces this (noisy) wing-flapping as a metaphor for the force of reading (aloud) in exchanges between Derrida and Cixous in Voiles, Insister, and other texts. The other—following a series of threads between this and the last of the Geschlecht essays, as well as Derrida’s final seminar—teases out how this force is associated, on the one hand, with the Walten and Austrag of ontological difference and, on the other, with the tragen or carrying of the voice of the friend or the lost one.