Like many other anthropologists compelled to write on violence, the grammar of terror, or on the dismay of images, I have been caught in a scene of writing in which the moral urgency has far outpaced the capacity to render the violence intelligible. In this chapter I want to reflect on this very poverty as a virtue. One may say of anthropology what Lefebvre (1968) said of philosophy, that ‘The role of philosophical thought is to eliminate premature explanations, those limitative positions which could prevent us from penetrating and possessing the formidable content of our being’. This image of holding back also recalls, for me at any rate, Stanley Cavell’s (1989) sketch of philosophy as that which does not speak first, its virtue lying in its responsiveness: tireless, awake, when others have fallen asleep.