the work of sean arthur joyce

the essays of sean arthur joyce

The essayist ... can pull on any sort of shirt, be any sort of person, according to his mood or his subject matter—philosopher, scold, jester, raconteur, confidant, pundit, devil's advocate, enthusiast. — E. B. White

Read an essay? Why? You might ask. Well, first off, let’s dispense with the notion that essays have anything to do with the loathsome book reports you were forced to do in school. If poetry can be described as “a conversation between the poet and God,” essays could be described as “a lively conversation between friends with inquiring minds.”

My own essays have careened from Orwellian outrage to the shamanistic ecstasy of Ferlinghetti. Never one to colour between the lines, for me words are paint in a palette, chords and notes on a guitar. Rules must be learned only so that they may be properly broken. Categories are for accountants and bureaucrats at best, lazy minds at worst. What I write veers from awestruck meditation to soul-screams of rage to dimension-hopping metaphysical speculation. Great essays, like great poetry, Ferlinghetti reminds us, recognize “the totalitarianism of the rational mind and break through it.”

—excerpted from Enjoying the Literate Conversation–A Meditation on Essays (read complete essay here.)

For those interested in pursuing the art of the essay further, I recommend a thorough reading of George Orwell’s essays, and of course those of Michel de Montaigne. Aldous Huxley is another favourite of mine. Coming from a postmodern (or should I say post-modem?) angle is Paul Graham, a computer programmer with a flair for the literary. Or just look up ‘essay’ in Wikipedia and follow the suggested links.



Links to essays available in PDF format.

short stories

Links to short stories available in PDF format.