Australian Journal of French Studies

A Deconstructive Reading of Albert Camus' Caligula: Justice and the Game of Calculations

Australian Journal of French Studies (2012), 49, (1), 31–42.

Abstract

In Force de loi. Le "Fondement mystique de l'autorité", Jacques Derrida writes about justice and an "experience of the impossible". In this article, aspects of Derrida's conception of justice are considered, particularly in terms of such an experience. Albert Camus' Caligula is engaged in dangerous calculations in the founding of the law. What does his mad pursuit to realise "the impossible" entail and how is it tied to a game of calculations? In short, Caligula's decisions are made increasingly in his self-interest and he is overthrown in a movement of revolt. Is there a sense in which Camus' Caligula might reveal an "experience of the impossible", as described by Derrida in writing on justice?

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Author details

Sheaffer-Jones, Caroline