Trauma and Philosophy on Jean-Luc Nancy and winken
In his essay on the Wink Nancy connects Heidegger’s notion of “the last God” as the God who winkt, with Derrida’s différance, the ordinary spelling of which, in French as in English, uses an e where Derrida writes, instead, an a. Nancy notes that the a in différance is itself a Wink. The very difference to which it calls attention can only be indicated in writing, since as pronounced in French there is no difference between the sound of the word written with an a and the same word written with an e. As spoken, the difference between “différence” and “différance” passes by unnoticed–just as Heidegger says his “last god” passes by, and is the last god only in so passing. In that connection of multiple connections itself, Nancy sees a Wink that opens upon “another sense”–a sense other than that of sovereignty. Since, as Derrida taught in Speech and Phenomena, there can be no “meaning” without “indication,” which is to say without any winken that opens the space for “signification,” that would also be a sense other than that of the sovereignty of “meaning” itself–of that very sense of sense.