Today is the birth anniversary of novelist, poet, and travel writer Lawrence Durrell. I first encountered him through The Alexandria Quartet, reading it out of order because Justine was checked out of the Dayton library main branch when I decided nothing would do but to begin. It turns out that, the first three volumes covering the same time period and events (more or less), nothing serious was lost. I have always had the sense, however, that Balthazar is secretly the beginning of the tetralogy. He’s less appreciated than once upon a time, the lush prose and overheated eroticism (a function of characters more than author) distracting us from the architectural brilliance of the work.