Sime Time

I came across the writings of Simon Whitechapel a year ago after picking up the first twenty or so issues of Headpress, a 1990s ’zine that dealt with the relentlessly grim, the esoteric and prurient. His style was fascinating, coming across as intelligent and well-read and — at least from first reading — subtly ironic.

In fact he must have impressed some other people during this time too as Headpress’ Critical Vision imprint spun his collected articles together for publication under the title Intense Device: A Journey Through Lust, Murder and the Fires of Hell — they have all the typical interests that run through Whitechapel’s work — there is an obsession with numerology, with Whitehouse-style distortion music, with Hitler and de Sade. There are also articles on farting, on Jack Chick and novelisations of TV shows. They are fascinating, written in a scholarly way with footnotes aplenty but never difficult to understand. He also wrote two non-fiction works during the late 1990s and early 2000s that centred around sadism and the murder of women in South America. They are dark.

There are also the works of fiction. To say that Whitechapel is transgressive is an understatement. His writing bleeds. The ‘official’ work The Slaughter King is filled with the detailed descriptions of sadistic murder, beginning with a serial killer murdering a gay prostitute whilst listening to distortion-atrocity music. The plot is schlocky but serviceable, jumping around inconsistently but the images it creates are terrifying. A bourgeois dinner party straight out of Buñuel and Pasolini’s nightmares where guests are served poisons as if they were the finest consommés: they eat bees until their faces swell, dropping dead at the table, finishing with a trifle “made from the berries of the several varieties of belladonna, of cuckoo-pint, and of the flowers of monkshood”. It’s a sinister book, but nothing compared to his second work.

Whitechapel wrote The Eyes. This is clear just from a simple comparison between his texts, the fascination with language, with sadism, with de Sade. The thing is, The Eyes is supposedly written by some guy called Aldapuerta, Spanish apparently. ‘Aldapuerta’ can be written Alda Puerta — ‘at the gate’, a telling description of these short stories, which go past this point many, many times. The tale of ‘Aldapuerta’ himself is too exact to be believed: a young boy with an interest in de Sade, corrupted by the local pornographer, medical-school training that honed his knowledge, then a mysterious death (echoing shades of Pasolini’s own) and finishing with the “and he might be baaaack” closer. But this point isn’t really an issue and it’s understandable that Whitechapel would want to keep his name away from this work. It is also surrealistically brilliant at times: amongst the brutality, the images it creates are unforgettable.

Of course, Whitechapel is a fake name, redolent of Jack the Ripper, and even Simon was taken from elsewhere — a colleague perhaps? He disappeared during the 2000s, no longer writing for Headpress, a few self-published chapbooks pastiching Clark Ashton Smith… where did he go? There are the rumours of prison time — they are convincing to my mind, as they too revolve around different identities, around extremity and anonymity. I wonder though, if true, just how much this individual actually believed in them. His most recent writings, at his tricksy blog, hint at this, as well as make his ‘relationship’ with Aldapuerta clearer but it’s not in my ability to directly connect the personas.

If you want to be fascinated and repulsed, then the non-author Simon Whitechapel is for you.

Lancashire


Elsewhere other-posted:

It’s The Gweel Thing…Gweel & Other Alterities, Simon Whitechapel (Ideophasis Books, 2011)

5 thoughts on “Sime Time

  1. Q. What’s the difference between Headpress Journal and the Daily Mail?
    A. The editor of the Daily Mail isn’t a necrophile movie aficionado…

    But then again…

    • Shocking video shows the extent of execution in Iraq by ISIS
    • ISIS video shows suicide bomber in car full of explosives
    • WARNING GRAPHIC: Hamas tunnel infiltration kills five
    • Footage showing a suspected British fighter shooting a prisoner
    • Bizarre video of snake in a pet shop eating ITSELF!
    • WARNING GRAPHIC: Rapper shoots and pistol-whips friend
    • Graphic: Nigerian soldiers slit Boko Haram suspects’ throats
    • WARNING GRAPHIC: Audio of Byron Smith executing teen intruders
    • Emily’s video diary and footage of her abortion procedure
    • Horror moment Andrew Young is floored by single, fatal punch
    • Woman stoned to death for marrying the man she loved
    • Horrific pictures emerge of 25 women who were slaughtered in Baghdad
    • The aftermath of the attack in Kenyan coastal resort
    • The shocking moment a man sleeping in the street is run over
    • Incredible moment a tire explosion blows a man’s pants off
    • Police release shocking surveillance video of Las Vegas shooting
    • Girl clobbers her rival in the head with SHOVEL
    • Terrifying moment man is knocked down and dragged by a GHOST
    • Children thrown from fourth floor window as fire cuts off escape route
    • GRAPHIC: Video of Sudan flogging ignites fury online
    • Horrifying moment firemen are thrown from burning building
    • Bystanders left in shock as police dog grabs man by the neck
    • Horrifying moment polar bears eat peacock at Austrian zoo
    • Thug karate kicks woman in face in broad daylight
    • GRAPHIC: Teenager banned from keeping animals for life
    • Father arrested after pregnant woman stoned to death
    • Shakir Wahiyib sentences three truck drivers to death
    • Must watch! Meet Norma, the woman cursed with a man’s voice
    • 20 tonne armoured car runs over Russian soldier in parade
    • CCTV: Nahid Almanea moments before she was killed
    • Govt. boss in Mexico caught on office web cam having sex
    • Man and woman attempt to cross swollen river
    • Strange creature floats by Gulf of Mexico oil rig
    • Vicious gang attack on scientist in Manchester city centre
    • Sick Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris laugh and joke together
    • CCTV shows lead up and aftermath of Sean McHugh’s death
    • Kendall Jones films villagers chopping up elephant for meat
    • Stubborn baby won’t stop pushing button which makes him cry
    • Talented Pit Bull has fun belly dancing with owner
    • Shocking moment truck ploughs into pedestrians in Russia
    • The moment a Filipino toddler wakes up at her own funeral
    • Tourist footage captures strange movement in pub window

    The Islamic State Killing Fields: Terror group releases horrifying video showing drive-by shootings, suicide bombings and dozens of other victims rounded up and executed

    WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
    Jihadists release video in sick celebration to mark Muslim festival of Eid
    Shows prisoners huddling in trucks before being driven to their deaths
    Film cuts to them lying face down in dirt as they are shot one by one
    Suicide bomber brags about becoming a martyr in truck full of explosives
    Video shows him driving down street before detonating vehicle by building
    Other prisoners are led to jetty where they are shot and tossed in water

  2. Pingback: Niphadic: Snowflakes and the Occult – the conlanger

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s