Women's Studies Journal Publishes Literary Arts Professor's Essay on Poet Elizabeth Bishop Friday, November 22, 2019
"The work I conducted on this essay gave me greater insight into Elizabeth Bishop's poetics and her revisionary methods, and I have used this insight to guide the methods through which I teach my students her poetry and prose."
Jessica McCort, Ph.D., assistant professor of composition and rhetoric for the Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice at Point Park University, recently had her article titled "The 'Interrupted Story': Elizabeth Bishop’s Fairy–Tale Aesthetics," published in the interdisciplinary journal, Women's Studies.
McCort's essay explores American poet and short-story writer Elizabeth Bishop's appropriations of fairy tales in her poetry and prose. In the majority of these appropriations, Bishop pits her speakers' or her characters' real experiences against the magical worlds of Andersen and Grimm.
"In her versions, what is longed for is almost always never recovered, what is desired almost always lost. Bishop's work concentrates especially on the interrupted story, refusing to allow her protagonists to achieve the “happily-ever-after” ending that often shores up the fairy-tale or fantasy story’s conclusion — except, that is, in poems or fragments that are rather explicitly about sexual desire. In them, Bishop sometimes allows the 'home,' the delight of the lover’s body, to be recovered either on the edge of waking or within the subterranean tunneling of dreamwork," McCort explained.
McCort often teaches Bishop's work in her classes, most recently in her Major American Authors course that featured her work, alongside that of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton.
"The work I conducted on this essay gave me greater insight into Bishop's poetics and her revisionary methods, and I have used this insight to guide the methods through which I teach my students her poetry and prose."
McCort earned a Ph.D. in English and American literature from Washington University in St. Louis, specializing in American literature and women’s writing. McCort's scholarship focuses largely on the appropriation of children’s literature, particularly Grimm’s and Andersen’s fairy tales and Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, by American women writers. She is also the editor of a compilation of essays concerning the intersection of the horror genre and children’s and young adult literature and culture, titled Reading in the Dark: Horror in Children’s Literature and Culture.