About the author:
David George Plotkin (April, 1899 – March 30, 1968) was an American poet, cartoonist, novelist, and ghostwriter. He is reputed to have been the author of My Sister and I, a memoir attributed to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.
David George Plotkin was born in New York City in April, 1899. His parents were Russian immigrants. Plotkin attended City College, and studied law for three years at Brooklyn Law School, but practiced law only briefly. Instead, he worked as a cartoonist and as a writer for the Works Progress Administration.
Plotkin published a book of poems called Ghetto Gutters in 1927. A contemporary review remarked that “the poems are sometimes crude and immature; over-sentimental and yet callous,” but also “redolent with the spicy garlic smells of Brownsville and the Bronx.”
Plotkin married, but by late 1941 he was separated from his wife, and living in Woodstock, NY. He was approached by the publisher Samuel Roth, who asked Plotkin to write a book for him. Plotkin agreed to write a novel about Singapore, in which, he said, “I will … project my imagination out into the Far East and write an allegory about me and my wife.” Plotkin had never been to Singapore. He researched his subject in the New York Library, and wrote a novel entitled Rage in Singapore between November, 1941 and February, 1942. The book contained a description of Singapore’s fall to the Japanese; and Singapore actually fell to the Japanese just as Plotkin completed his manuscript. Roth published Rage in Singapore as a work of non-fiction, and claimed that Plotkin “was at Penang with his wife when the Japs captured the island.”
Plotkin’s other works include The Plot Against America, an exposé of Montana senator Burton Wheeler (1946), and My Sister and I (1951), a memoir attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche, which was also published by Samuel Roth. It asserted that Nietzsche had had an incestuous affair with his sister Elizabeth, and that he also had an affair with Richard Wagner’s wife Cosima. The Princeton philosopher Walter Kauffmann dismissed My Sister and I as a forgery, but some scholars still uphold its authenticity. Plotkin is also the likely author of My Life and Loves in Greenwich Village (1954), which was attributed to the bohemian writer Maxwell Bodenheim, and published by Samuel Roth.
Plotkin died on March 30, 1968, in Brooklyn. According to his obituary in The New York Times, he was survived by his widow, Rachel; three brothers, and two sisters.