“Shy Boy”

@MyDtcAccount – Jonathan Crabtree


For centuries, people have been writing books down on paper. Now, some authors are starting to create their work on computers. Creators have discovered that the technology now exists to be able to create a piece of art that the reader can actually interact with instead of just observing. Katherine Hayles describes something that is born digital as a “first generation digital object created on a computer and (usually) meant to be read on a computer” (1). This definition is fairly broad and generic but, in the case of the digitally born poem “Shy Boy,” object that are born digital usually implement some type of “running code,” which means that the experience is always changing for the user (3). Using “Shy Boy” as an example, this text is continuously appearing and then disappearing, forcing the reader to read at the pace that the author intended it to be read. This cannot happen with a print book, which, some may argue, is a good thing. The main point, however, is that electronic literature is different than print literature. “Shy Boy” also has soft music playing in the background, which is meant to enhance the reader’s experience. Music has been proven to evoke emotion, and that’s exactly what the author was going for when creating this poem. By making a sad story and then playing a “sad” piece of music behind it, the author is basically manipulating the reader’s emotions. By utilizing technology, people are creating pieces of art that can be enjoyed and interacted with, instead of simply absorbed.

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