Chapter 11 In Lieu of a Conclusion: Policing as a Form of Epistemology – Three Narratives of the Japanese Empire

In: Policing Literary Theory

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Etymologically, spying is related to seeing, which further establishes its connection to police interpellation through which Althusser explains the formulation of a subject before the Unique Subject. Althusserian interpellation is theorized on the basis of the Lacanian model of “specular” (mirror-like) formation of a subject, which brings us back to the act of seeing and knowing (recognizing). As Lacan was suggesting the double vision in this model (i.e., mutual seeing), interpellation always-already involves counter-interpellation. In the proletarian Japanese literature the reader finds the moment when the imperial police force step down as the Absolute Subject to the criminal subject in the oppressive regime of the Empire. Such displacement of interpellation is more patent in the colonial situation as it involves the transgression of boundaries and, consequently, is more problematic. Sometimes the interpellation is evoked not so much by a colonizing Absolute Subject, but by a fellow colonial subject. In such a case a spy can be detected and reveal his/her identity and, thus, be interpellated, but he/she can still annul its meaning since the interpellation is not performed by the Unique and Absolute Subject, which establishes itself only through the political power of the State. This paper examines three narratives springing from the history of the Japanese Empire to explore the various ways in which Althusserian-Lacanian model of interpellation is revised or dislodged.