Tag Archives: #ShyBoy

Shy Boy: Electronic Literature

“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 Blog


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.


Shy Boy is full of digital art, and inspiration. This isn’t only literature it’s another way to express how one is feeling. I have chosen to observe Shy boy because this poem speaks more than a shy boy. It expresses life of most children. This poem has colors, animations and the capabilities to only be watched on a computer that is compatible with the codes. (Hayles 1) The colors, animations make the poem seem so much more than the words being spitted out letter by letter. It intensifies the meaning by a lot. Because this digital art work requires a computer to be able to read, it uses HTML codes. A huge digital art work producing way of art. Shy boy is a classical way of presenting a digital art work. Without these HTML codes those who consume this poem wouldn’t have gotten the full expression that this shy boy poem is really pleading out to them. It would have been boring, lousy and most likely wouldn’t catch anyone’s attention. When I first started to watch this poem I was impressed how it had its very own website, it was plain so the reader could get the full effect from the fading’s, colors and animations from what the producer wanted the consumer to get. #DTCV #SHYBOY #ANIMATION #EXPRESSION

Electronic Literature


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.