“A Carefully Crafted F**k You”

Missing

Nathan Schneider interviews Judith Butler for Guernica.

[Judith Butler's] latest book, Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable? (2009), reflects on the past decade's saga of needless war, photographed-even fetishized-torture, and routine horror. It treats these practices as issuing from a philosophical choice, one which considers certain human beings expendable and unworthy of being grieved. The concluding chapter confronts the paradoxical nature of any call for nonviolent resistance-paradoxical because the very identities that we claim and resist on behalf of were themselves formed by violence in the past. Butler does not mistake nonviolence for passivity, as so many critics do. At its best, she writes, nonviolent resistance becomes a "carefully crafted ‘fuck you,’" tougher to answer than a Howitzer.

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