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Harder You Look: A Novel

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Title: Harder You Look: A Novel
Author: Harris, Matthew
Department: School of English and Theatre Studies
Program: Creative Writing
Advisor: Winter, Michael
Abstract: This thesis is a creative exploration of the themes of beauty, obsession and perception through the story of Mark Hoxton, a young Torontonian. The novel opens with Mark Hoxton facing a professional and romantic crossroads in his life. In an attempt to escape his frustration, Mark attends a party and encounters “Handlebar Mustache,” a man he becomes romantically obsessed with. As he pursues Handlebar Mustache around Toronto and eventually to New York, Mark tries to understand what exactly he finds enthralling about Handlebar Mustache, and what his obsession can tell him about beauty and ugliness, and what these judgements can tell him about his meaning in life. The novel takes the form of a series of blog posts written by Mark, and their breathless, over-emotional style mirrors the obsessional thoughts that are driving Mark throughout his pursuit.
Date: 2012-06
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