After War: The Weight of Life at Walter Reed
This chapter reflects on how this book’s focus on the tensions and uncertainties of the immediate aftermath of injury departs from a tendency in the anthropology of violence to look hopefully toward social and cultural forms that arise after violence. This approach is instead allied with others that consider the difficulties of enduring daily life in a present marked by violence. The ethics and politics of these various approaches are considered, as are the limits of anthropological knowledge of experiences of violence. The conclusion reflects on the theoretical and ethical significance of the extra/ordinary—a way of understanding that any form of ordinary life is always marked by things that seem extraordinary—as a category for thinking about experiences of violence.