“Redridinghood” of Donna Leishman is the electronic literature base on children store. It is about a little girl, she wears red sweater and brings some food for her grandmother who live in the forest. Unfortunately, there is a wolf that follows her all the way to her grandma’s house to kill her grandma and her for its meal. For Donna Leishman’s work, it contains audio, touch, visual and communication. Continuing the story, the viewers have to click on the chosen items like doors or windows; also, we can pick two options that were created by the end of the story. They are letting her sleep or waking her up and we pick either one of them; it will lead us to different scenarios. That way, it makes people get more involved to the story by their physically activities with new technology environment. Besides, the soundtrack and the music describe very well the story’s situation which is dangerous and high risky. The video has the viewer’s interaction; it keeps the viewers awake.
“Electronic circuitry profoundly involves men with one another” and “We can no longer build serially, block-by-block, step-by-step, because instant communication insures that all factors of the environment and of experience coexist in a state of active interplay”(Page 63). In my opinion, Donna Leishman’s work is great example by turning original story to electronic literature; plus, Donna brings all the viewers together by video’s step-by-step structure. That way, the views will find more interesting in this video than read straight content as the story in children book.
The electronic medium has transformed literature in a multitude of ways. In Donna Leishman’s work, “Redridinghood”, the virtual surface provides a means of visual, touch, audio, and interactive objects. You are given different options while navigating throughout the story, which allows the viewer to become an active participant in the story.
Marshall McLuhan states, “Electronic circuitry profoundly involves men with one another” and “We can no longer build serially, block-by-block, step-by-step, because instant communication insures that all factors of the environment and of experience co-exist in a state of active interplay.” (p.63) Leishman’s piece is a good example of this move away from the step-by-step formal organization, and the growth towards a larger scale human experience and interaction as a group or whole entity, rather than the singular focus of print.
The electronic medium has also made it possible to take a classical story and reinvent the manner in which it is told, this gives it the opportunity to once again gain interest by means of a new delivery in a more appealing package. McLuhan says, “The method of our time is to use not a single but multiple models for exploration.” By using a multi-sensory approach, Leishman is maximizing the experience others have with her story. It gives the author and audience a more connected experience where proximity is not an issue and interactions are produced.
“Electronic literature, generally considered to exclude print literature that has been digitized, is by contrast “digital born,” a first-generation digital object created on a computer and (usually) meant to be read on a computer. “(Hayles) In other words, it is still print literature but it is modified to become electronic literature by computer programs. With digital technologies, electronic literature thoroughly integrated with printing literature to make new inputs to literature field nowadays. “Shy Boy” is great example for electronic literature and it is a poem that is created by computer with digital production. “Shy Boy” was very early production for Thom Swiss. Collaborating people underneath poems is his work but he’s not a programmer; he’s a language person. He tried to put a team of people to work on single pieces or group of pieces. For “Shy boy”, he used to capture the ideas, which were inside of his head, then he contacted to one designer and one editor. At this point, they worked as the team as combined all their pieces of work together to make new production. Also, “Shy Boy” had soft music that got along with the video and the way that the words were disappearing and appearing. “Electronic text remains distinct from print in that it literally cannot be accessed until it is performed by properly executed code. The immediacy of code to the text’s performance is fundamental to understanding electronic literature, especially to appreciating its specificity as a literary and technical production” (Hayles). With the print literature, we can’t have this process that make the document is more interesting like electronic literature.
Shy Boy is definantly electronic literature. While it may have been paper before, it is now its own work. It would not have the same effect as it does should it be in print. The way that the words appear then vanish makes the piece its own. And the background music helps with creating the mood as you read it. If you took all of that out and made it into paper form, it would not have that much affect, if any at all. It may not have been “born digital” but if it was, then there would be no way that it could become print and carry out all that goes with this piece.
“Unlike a print book, electronic text literally cannot be accessed without running code” (Halyes). With this quote in mind, I feel that “Shy Boy” by Thomas Swiss is an accurate example a work that is “born digital.” There are many reasons why authors create digitally born works. In terms of “Shy Boy,” the reason is to evoke specific emotions. Swiss uses text animation such as fading and bold facing to set the immediate tone of the piece. The music that is used in the piece also affects the mood. Electronic literature like “Shy Boy” tends to break the mold of traditional still text such as a printed book or newspaper. By using text animation and sounds, electronic literature keeps the reader’s attention and connects with the reader more efficiently. The text in “Shy Boy” continues on with or without the reader and creates excitement. In a printed piece of literature, the plain text doesn’t ever movie or produce sound. It may provoke inner thought in emotion, but only if the reader continues to pay attention to the text. The reader’s mind can wander off at anytime and lose the connection. Electronic literature uses many tricks to keep your attention. For a piece of work to be labeled as “digitally born,” the work is created digitally. It cannot be reproduced in a physical form. That is another reason why “Shy Boy” is a great example. Electronic literature may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I feel that it really allows the reader to connect to the piece of work.
The piece of electronic literature that I chose is Shy Boy by Thomas Swiss. This is an example of a “born digital” work because it was created on a computer and it is read on a computer. Similarly the definition of electronic literature is known as a first generation digital object created on a computer, meant to be read on a computer (Hayes). Electronic literature is not something that is just been digitalized like a book that was printed and the put back onto a Kindle for people to purchase and then read on a device. A “born digital” piece of work is something that the user can input things, see things visually and hear things. The story of Shy Boy is provided for the reader after pressing enter on the webpage. It was designed so that each line is separately put onto the screen for the reader to read and take in. In my opinion it seems like the designer Michael Cina and Thomas Swiss worked together to make a design that would cause the reader to feel a sadness for the Shy Boy each time it is read. The grey and black colors provide a sad feeling to the reader. The one thing that bothers me about electronic literature like this one is that with the colors and layout the reader is not really able to form their own emotions about Shy Boy because there is instantly a feeling of sadness because of the colors being so dark.