Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Norman Finkelstein

I had hoped that a post like this wouldn't be necessary, but recent events have once again reminded me that I need to clarify my identity, especially for those of you who are visiting this blog or reading my work for the first time. I am Norman M. Finkelstein. My middle name is Mark, though I haven't written or made public appearances under that name or used my middle initial in over twenty years. I am a poet and literary critic. I am not Norman G. Finkelstein, the controversial political scientist, though I am occasionally mistaken for him. I do not share his opinions in regard to Israel, the Holocaust, or most Jewish-American organizations. But Norman G. and I are acquainted--we were both in the class of '75 at Binghamton University. We spent a pleasant hour together at DePaul when I visited Eric Selinger's poetry course some years ago. We haven't been in touch since.

I should also note that there is a third Norman Finkelstein: Norman H. Finkelstein, a librarian and the author of many books for young adults. To make things even more complicated, all three of us write about modern Jewish history and culture, each in his own very different way. Sometimes I feel like I'm living in a Philip Roth novel. But so it goes.


jordan said...

you norm finkelsteins are quite prolific.

Mark Scroggins said...

That's a really coool middle name; who'd thunk?

E. M. Selinger said...

Maybe you should be "N. Mark Finkelstein" for the next few months, until this craziness blows over.

(The craziness at DePaul, I mean; if you don't know about it, Dear Reader, check the Chronicle of Higher Education for details. I won't bore you with them here!)