Religion, India, & Timeless Observations

Click the banner above to go to this literary-intellectual online magazine edited by Russell Bennetts. Click the image after the jump to go to their reprinting of an item by a lion of letters from another era, writing about a place familiar to us, translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude. It was first published in 1885 in the short story collection What Men Live By.  Thank you berfrois and thank you Leo!

The Coffee-House of Surat

by Leo Tolstoy

In the town of Surat, in India, was a coffee-house where many travellers and foreigners from all parts of the world met and conversed…

One day a learned Persian theologian visited this coffee-house. He was a man who had spent his life studying the nature of the Deity, and reading and writing books upon the subject. He had thought, read, and written so much about God, that eventually he lost his wits, became quite confused, and ceased even to believe in the existence of a God. The Shah, hearing of this, had banished him from Persia.


Surat on the Banks of the Tappee, James Forbes, 1813

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