The aim of the paper is to reconsider Barthes’s theory of textuality, as presented in his The Pleasure of the Text. Barthes’s approach is based on the rejection of the “referential” or “realistic” theories of literary text: the Barthesian pleasure is drawn from the texture of the text itself rather that from its alleged referential character. In this sense, the author’s suggestion is to return to the notion of representation rejected by Barthes, even though this representation should not be identical with the reference in the classical sense of the word. The notion of “weak representation”, suggested by the author, does not mean a return to a naîve conception of realism. It rather implies that the referent would be a fantasmatic rather than “realistic” entity. The notions of representation and reference are exemplified by the interpretation of Richardson’s Clarissa and Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbevilles.