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In this chapter, I look at three narratives involving individuals and their encounters with the police in the United States. Each case is meant to revisit Louis Althusser’s classic depiction of interpellation wherein a police officer, seeing a pedestrian walking by yells out “hey, you there!” In the first case, I look at Kafka’s Amerika, in which the novel’s hero, Karl Rossmann, is such a failed subject, so incoherent, that the police officer’s attempts to interpellate him fail miserably. Rossmann exposes the way that interpellation is a two-way street and, given that he doesn’t project any authority back onto...

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