Novelist Georges Perec recommended two ways of reading his labyrinthine Life A User's Manual: in the normal linear fashion, from first page to last, or by following the trajectory of a single character by means of the index provided. A modified version of the second method could serve equally well as a point of entry into Things and A Man Asleep, which Perec himself said that they represented respectively the "light side" and the "dark side" of a single reality. A possible point of entry could therefore be fashioned by choosing an element of the "intertext"--a thread in the fabric--of the two works, and following where it leads. This thread will be Roland Barthes, or rather the work he produced during the 1950s and early 60s. In the first place, whilst the use Perec made of Barthes's Mythologies in the elaboration of Things has been recognized and acknowledged, it is not often pointed out that Barthes's presence in A Man Asleep is perhaps no less significant. Secondly, if this Barthesian thread really does run through both works, then it can be tugged in such a way that the two texts are drawn closer together, thus revealing something of their alleged complementarity.