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Giorgio Agamben has recently expanded upon the positive and immanent potential of his archaeology of biopolitics from the perspective of inoperativity rather than work as the fundamental ontologico-political problem today. In doing so, he teases out an inoperative praxis and poetics that consists in deactivating human institutions, functions, and operations based on the metaphysical paradigm of sovereignty, all the while opening them to new possible uses. Though Agamben insists on the uncharted trajectory of his research, I argue that it closely resembles other approaches to inoperativity (or désœuvrement) undertaken by a loose filiation of French-language writers from which he departs, notably including Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Achille Mbembe. Whereas Agamben's theory of inoperativity emphasizes a certain mode of destituent potential and use in view of the coming politics, these writers affirm the excess of finitude as a resource for refusal that animates literary and artistic creation at a distance from politics. Nevertheless, I contend that the effort of reading together the divergent formulations of inoperativity from Bataille to Agamben maps a more capacious theoretical and methodological framework for situating the dual tasks of abolishing sovereignty and improvising nonsovereign ways of doing and being in common. Their elucidations of the ethical and literary-aesthetic spheres of inoperativity in particular affirm the demands of freedom, resistance, and justice heard in nonsovereign forms of common life and shared finite existence.