e x c e s s

For Barthes, the literal and figurative readings and meanings work together to give a text its multilingual nature. Metaphor is a tool for rendering a text more plural, since with more synonyms and 'forms of language,' the text is multiplied in both quantity and meaning:

"The excess of metaphor... is a game played by the discourse. The game, which is a regulated activity and always subject to return, consists then not in piling up words for mere verbal pleasure (logorrhea) but in multiplying one form of language... as though in an attempt to exhaust the nonetheless infinite variety and reinventiveness of synonyms, while repeating and varying the signifier, so as to affirm the plural existence of the text, its return."

[Barthes 58]

Erica Jean Seidel