What I have in mind can perhaps be made more clear by taking an example from Butler’s literary topic in Frames of War, the poems of the detainees of Guantanamo. She puzzles lightly over the words of Marc Falkoff, lawyer of several of the detainees and editor of the poetry, who wrote that according to the concerns of the U.S. government, there was something particularly dangerous about the “content and format of this poetry. Butler’s only comment on the lyric genre is parenthetical, referring to the citational quality of the lyric “I,” and her investigation of what it is about the form seems disingenuous. She finds them, however, to be structured, or revolving around “a repeated and open question, an insistent horror, a drive toward exposure” (57). The question is located in Sami al-Haj’s poem, “Humiliated in Shackles”: “How does a tortured body form such words?” Butler locates the meaning and importance of the question in the fact that it comes from another, the fact that it is an appeal that comes from somewhere else, and this, she contends, means that in turn we can read these poems for the “set of interpretations …. they deliver in the form of affects, including longing and rage…” (57). She imagines this “set of interpretations” as a way of reconceiving the relationship between the forming of words and survival, between the post-strucuralist effort and carrying on. She writes, “The poems communicate another sense of solidarity, of interconnected lives that carry on each others’ words, suffer each others’ fears, and form networks that pose an incendiary risk not only to national security, but to the form of global sovereignty championed by the U.S.” (62). She locates the incendiary threat not in the “content and format” of the poems, but in the structure that is generated by this aporetic question, one which is both a question of the text and of the form of communal life that is imagined as its outcome. Here is Butler’s finest vision of what “responsiveness” is, what interpretation “as a consequence of a certain field of intelligibility that helps us to form and to frame our responsiveness to the impinging world” is (34). The problem of this type of imagined collectivity is that in the end it puts all of the critical pressure on the perceptive (turning apperceptive) powers of the “I,” even where these terms are shifted to the “we,” and where it seems that indeed there is something like the “constitutive sociality of the body” (51). At the same time, however, this “I” totally disappears from the field; I mean that he is not allowed to go there, that we lose a way of talking about the interaction between the “I” and the “sociality of the body,” which is both singular, interpretive, and interconnected. To pause at the level of the poem as a poem, at the level of the questions that it poses for the identity of its speaker, who, in confrontation with a the ugly social fact of his torture, his subjection, his confinement, creates an expressive document which, though it might not itself stand trial, evinces some of the conflicts that constitute appeals to “humanity.” Indeed al-Haj’s question is insistently this one: how does a tortured body make an appeal to humanity? In this sense, the question of what language forms is less a question of survival, although it is also this, and to a much greater extent a question of defense, here of one human being or many human beings, who are in a situation where both the inhuman nature of their treatment and the supposed “humanity” that they are supposed to represent work against the humanness of their particular need for defense. This defense and our role in it, is in large part a matter of the civilian concerns of war suffering, which is not about the guilt of survival, but about the guilt of not being about to do anything to prevent atrocity. For me, this shift involves the difference between Sami al-Haj being a representative of this collective, tortured body, and Sami al-Haj being one who raises a question about the human limits of appealing to humanity.