Whitechapel autopsy
An East End apocalypse
in Iain Sinclair
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This chapter examines Sinclair's first novel, White Chappell. It shows that this novel drew upon the events of the autumn of 1888, namely the ‘Whitechapel Murders’ of Jack the Ripper, and even some popular literary novels (A Study in Scarlet and Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde). From there the discussion focuses on the concept of temporal co-presence and multi-presence, and looks at how Sinclair uses the metaphysic of topographic presence to emphasize the mythic constructions of his narrative. This chapter also considers the ‘haunted’ nature of books and the dissection and division of human bodies.

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