Ezra Shirazi had pictured the University of Tehran as a

sort of Greek temple basking in the sun of knowledge,

and was amazed to find an unprepossessing jumble of dark,

dilapidated buildings.  Despite his disenchantment he studied hard.  Lectures and

laboratories kept him busy from early morning until three in

the afternoon.  Most of his professors were renowned scholars, and

listening to them brought home to him the depths of

his ignorance.  He wondered if he would ever acquire the

knowledge necessary to practice his chosen profession. He dreamed of

the security and respect that came with a dental career.


Paraphrases from the biography Chekhov by Henri Troyat.