‘The Coffee-House Of Surat’ by Leo Tolstoy

The Coffee-House Of Surat by Leo Tolstoy, 1893

The magic trick:

Using symmetry to make a point about religion

This one conjures math in my head. Not numbers but geometry. The question of God’s existence – or more specifically, which religion is correct about God’s existence – leads to a series of theories. I saw it as a group of triangles aligned along a descending curve. I don’t know why. But I did. Then we get a potential answer from a man. But his solution only produces another series of examples – another group of triangles parallel to the previous descending curve.

The symmetry is perfect, and the story’s point is made. And that’s quite a trick on Tolstoy’s part.

The selection:

“The light of the sun is not a liquid; for if it were a liquid it would be possible to pour it from one vessel into another, and it would be moved, like water, by the wind. Neither is it fire; for if it were fire, water would extinguish it. Neither is light a spirit, for it is seen by the eye; nor is it matter, for it cannot be moved. Therefore, as the light of the sun is neither liquid, nor fire, nor spirit, nor matter, it is – nothing!”

READ THIS STORY ONLINE

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

Advertisements


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s