A Metaphorical Explanation of Roland Barthes’ Principal Propositions for Distinguishing “From Work to Text,” in his 1979 Poststructuralist Essay
1) A “work” is horseflesh, “text” a Rocky Mountain fenceless pasture.
2) The pasture is a playing field on which the grasses of the Argentine pampas grow up through the Andean Altiplano, classified not by geography but by the pressure such terms impose upon each region.
3) A wild horse might be broken, or imprinted, but there are riders who train themselves toward the scenic rise rather than a specific gait.
4) A “work” can be a horse, but “text” must be a concurrence of horse and rider, or a string of horses, a team, a herd, an harras—if wild, mustangs.
5) A “work” might have a thoroughbred lineage, but “text” inhabits that valley where Malpractice, Illuminata, and Quiver drink from one mouth a stream of flowing water.
6) Anyone can feed a horse a carrot, but only a rider creates the possibility for traveling it.
7) On most rides, there is horse and rider, but on occasion (jouissance) the ride becomes the gallop and the wind rushing past anyone’s.
Amy Wright is the Nonfiction Editor of Zone 3 Press and the author of three chapbooks, with her fourth forthcoming in spring 2014. Her work appears in a number of journals, including Drunken Boat, American Letters & Commentary, Quarterly West, Bellingham Review, Brevity, Western Humanities Review, and Denver Quarterly. She was awarded a 2012 Peter Taylor Fellowship for the Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop.