Longinus is perhaps our first rhetorician to supply a document examining the notion of the written sublime. In the fragmentary remnants of his well-known treatise On the Sublime we are treated to a catalogue of tropes present in all great works along with the pitfalls that mark all literature that misses the mark for one reason or another. The great literary work remains difficult to characterize, other than to say that “by some innate power the true sublime uplifts our souls” (107). The metaphor of elevation cannot be said to find its source here, but we can see that Sebald is reciting an immemorial ideal. And Sebald’s metaphor of Browne’s writing somehow overcoming gravity is here echoed by the idea of the great work having enough power to lift us up. The idea of flight and the effects of great literature are at least metaphorically cousin-german.