Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vahan Topalian, Shakespeare, and Miss Lanigan

Much should be written about the little known, great Vahan Topalian, a favorite friend of Peter Bilezikian, and a man who greatly influenced the young Marash Girl.  More about Vahan Topalian in future blogs, but today, Marash Girl remembers the day she came home from high school crushed, having been given a failing grade on a sonnet she had written in the style of Shakespeare (or at least that's what her English teacher had assigned the class to write).  Vahan Topalian was visiting for dinner that Friday evening, as he did on a regular basis.  Vahan was a literary genius, who had read almost every book and poem there was to read in the English language, and had collected almost as many first signed editions of these works in his library on Beacon Hill.  

Tearfully, Marash Girl showed him the sonnet she had so carefully crafted, the sonnet with the failing grade marked in red at the top.  Vahan read the sonnet with care and counseled, 'Don't worry about it. This teacher probably would have given Shakespeare an F as well.'

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