Grief Detained

'Levels of Life'

Julian Barnes
Knopf, 128 pp., $22.95

Levels of Life consists of an essay, “The Sin of Height” (twenty-eight pages), a story of sorts,  “On the Level” (thirty-six pages), and an elegy, “The Loss of Depth” (fifty-seven pages). The essay is an account of the nineteenth-century phase of hot-air ballooning, exemplified by Colonel Fred Burnaby of the...

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About the Author

Denis Donoghue holds the Henry James Chair in English and American Letters at New York University. His most recent book is Irish Essays (2011).