As early as age 12, in 1884, Pinski had written a play at
the request of two friends. He included songs from the
Yiddish repertory in his play. His friends performed the
play in his grandmother's apartment, and they charged
The large living room was the stage and the anteroom was for
the audience. The wide door between the two rooms was draped
with a bedsheet which was the curtain. On the threshold
between the two rooms was a booth for the prompter--Pinski
was the prompter. The show was a great success and raised his
confidence in his writing abilities.
(This anecdote was translated and adapted from Pinski's
memoirs by Gabriel Pinski.)
Becoming a writer,
however, was not Pinski's first career choice. Family events
and meetings with other writers and intellectuals would
ultimately determine what direction his life would take.
April 5, 1872 in Mohilev on the Dnieper in White Russia,
Pinski moved to Moscow in 1885 with his parents. They later
lived in Vitebsk from 1890-1891. Pinski left for Vienna in
1891 to study medicine, but had to return from Vienna in
1892 to help his parents who were financially ruined by the
expulsion of the Jews from Russian cities. They then
relocated to Warsaw where Pinski became involved with Y.L.
Peretz and once again became involved in Yiddish literature.
Most likely Pinski
developed his own personal philosophy during these early
years, eventually becoming an active Socialist.