About this blog

  • In Shakespeare's The Tempest, Prospero, Duke of Milan, is ousted by his brother and exiled to an island. With the help of a friend, Prospero manages to take with him his beloved library.

    Prospero, like his creator, lived in a time when boundaries between disciplines were not as rigid as they are today. Prospero's books would have dealt with the cosmos—spiritual and material, inner and outer—as a whole.

    Prospero was a Hermeticist, probably modeled on the English magus John Dee. As the anonymous author of Meditations on the Tarot wrote, Hermeticists quest for "the communal soul of religion, science and art."

    In this blog, I try to do the same. I'm not Prospero, just a student rummaging through his library and writing in the margins. Prospero's Books is about seeing the world as a whole, by looking at

    • signs, especially the relationships between signifiers and what they signify
    • stories, especially big-picture stories, such as myths and the works of Dante, Shakespeare, and Joyce
    • systems, especially complex, nonlinear systems
    • spirit, especially as understood by the Judeo-Christian and Western esoteric traditions

    Welcome! Please join the conversation.

    —Kenneth W. Davis

    (Note: Although I admire Peter Greenaway's film Prospero's Books, this blog is not directly about that film. )

    Who (and Some of What) I Am

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05 March 2013


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