The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXXI. Non-English Writings I

§ 53. David Pinski

The standards of the Yiddish stage in America have not permitted David Pinski (born in Russia in 1873) to attain the distinction that is due him as a playwright. He is known among the Gentile lovers of the drama better than among his own kin. His plays have none of the vices of the regulation Yiddish play, and this may explain the fact that many of them were produced for the first time only several years after their publication. Nevertheless, he is a dramatist of high order. There is intensity and vigour in his plots, which are raised above the accidental configuration of circumstances. His characters, too, are broad and significant. His dynamic quality reveals itself in the themes he essays as well as in his characters. Clash and struggle are Pinski’s elements. The conflict of social forces is best brought out in his Isaac Sheftel, an Arbeiter Drama; and his Familie Zwi, Tragedie vun dem einzigen Yidden reveals the powerful cross-currents in Jewish life, the grapple of the old and the new. His plays should easily outlive their run on the stage, and remain permanently valuable as literature.