Manual Bemerkungen über uns närrische Menschen (German Edition)

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Unable to maintain himself at Leipzig he returned in to Hof, where he lived with his mother. Hasus , published in These works were not received with much favour, and in later life even their author had little sympathy for their satirical tone. Jean Paul's outlook was profoundly altered by a spiritual crisis he suffered on November 15, , in which he had a vision of his own death.

His next book, Die unsichtbare Loge "The Invisible Lodge" , a romance published in under the pen-name Jean Paul in honour of Jean-Jacques Rousseau , had all the qualities that were soon to make him famous, and its power was immediately recognized by some of the best critics of the day. This series of writings assured Richter a place in German literature, and during the rest of his life every work he produced was welcomed by a wide circle of admirers.

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After his mother's death in , Richter went to Leipzig , and in the following year, to Weimar , [1] where he started work on his most ambitious novel, Titan , published between and In he married Caroline Meyer, whom he had met in Berlin the year before. They lived first at Meiningen , then at Coburg ; and finally, in , they settled at Bayreuth. Here Richter spent a quiet, simple, and happy life, constantly occupied with his work as a writer. In he was delivered from anxiety about outward necessities by Prince Primate Karl Theodor von Dalberg , who gave him an annual pension of 1, florins, [1] which was later continued by the king of Bavaria.

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Also during this time he supported the younger writer E. Hoffmann , who long counted Richter among his influences. Richter wrote the preface to Fantasy Pieces , a collection of Hoffmann's short stories published in In September Jean Paul lost his only son, Max, a youth of the highest promise; and he never quite recovered from this shock.

Jean Paul occupies an unusual position in German literature and has always divided the literary public. Some hold him in highest veneration while others treat his work with indifference.


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He took the Romantic formlessness of the novel to extremes: Schlegel called his novels soliloquies, in which he makes his readers take part in this respect going even further than Laurence Sterne in Tristram Shandy. Jean Paul habitually played with a multitude of droll and bizarre ideas: his work is characterized by wild metaphors as well as by digressive and partly labyrinthine plots.

He mixed contemplation with literary theory: alongside spirited irony the reader finds bitter satire and mild humour; next to soberly realistic passages there are romanticized and often ironically-curtailed idylls, social commentary and political statements. The quick changes of mood attracted the composer Schumann whose Papillons was inspired by Jean Paul. His novels were especially admired by women. This was due to the empathy with which Jean Paul created the female characters in his works: never before in German literature were women represented with such psychological depth.

At the same time however, his work contains misogynistic quips. Jean Paul's character may have been as diverse and as confusing as many of his novels: he was said to be very sociable and witty, while at the same time extremely sentimental: having an almost childlike nature, quickly moved to tears. It is obvious from his works that his interests encompassed not only literature but also astronomy and other sciences.

It is no surprise that the relationship of so capricious an author with the Weimar classicists Goethe and Schiller always remained ambivalent: Schiller once remarked that Jean Paul was as alien to him as someone who fell from the moon, and that he might have been worthy of admiration "if he had made as good use of his riches as other men made of their poverty.

Although he always kept his distance from the classicists, who wanted to "absolutize" art, and although his theoretical approach most notably in his Introduction to Aesthetics was considerably influenced by Romanticism, it would be misleading to call him a Romantic without qualification. Here too he kept his distance: with all his subjectivism he didn't absolutize the subject of the author as the Romantics often did.

Books by Jean Paul Friedrich Richter

Jean Paul had what had become rare amidst classical severity and romantic irony: humour. He also was one of the first who approached humour from a theoretical standpoint. He thought that both the Enlightenment and metaphysics had failed, though they still held importance for his worldview.

He arrived at a philosophy without illusions, and a state of humorous resignation. Correspondingly he was one of the first defenders of Schopenhauer 's philosophy. His next book, Die unsichtbare Loge "The Invisible Lodge" , a romance published in under the pen-name Jean Paul in honour of Jean-Jacques Rousseau , had all the qualities that were soon to make him famous, and its power was immediately recognized by some of the best critics of the day.

Life and work

This series of writings assured Richter a place in German literature, and during the rest of his life every work he produced was welcomed by a wide circle of admirers. After his mother's death in , Richter went to Leipzig , and in the following year, to Weimar , [1] where he started work on his most ambitious novel, Titan , published between and In he married Caroline Meyer, whom he had met in Berlin the year before.

They lived first at Meiningen , then at Coburg ; and finally, in , they settled at Bayreuth.


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Here Richter spent a quiet, simple, and happy life, constantly occupied with his work as a writer. In he was delivered from anxiety about outward necessities by Prince Primate Karl Theodor von Dalberg , who gave him an annual pension of 1, florins, [1] which was later continued by the king of Bavaria. Otto and E. Also during this time he supported the younger writer E. Hoffmann , who long counted Richter among his influences.

Richter wrote the preface to Fantasy Pieces , a collection of Hoffmann's short stories published in In September Jean Paul lost his only son, Max, a youth of the highest promise; and he never quite recovered from this shock. Jean Paul occupies an unusual position in German literature and has always divided the literary public.

Some hold him in highest veneration while others treat his work with indifference.

He took the Romantic formlessness of the novel to extremes: Schlegel called his novels soliloquies, in which he makes his readers take part in this respect going even further than Laurence Sterne in Tristram Shandy. Jean Paul habitually played with a multitude of droll and bizarre ideas: his work is characterized by wild metaphors as well as by digressive and partly labyrinthine plots. He mixed contemplation with literary theory: alongside spirited irony the reader finds bitter satire and mild humour; next to soberly realistic passages there are romanticized and often ironically-curtailed idylls, social commentary and political statements.

The quick changes of mood attracted the composer Schumann whose Papillons was inspired by Jean Paul. His novels were especially admired by women.

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This was due to the empathy with which Jean Paul created the female characters in his works: never before in German literature were women represented with such psychological depth. At the same time however, his work contains misogynistic quips. Jean Paul's character may have been as diverse and as confusing as many of his novels: he was said to be very sociable and witty, while at the same time extremely sentimental: having an almost childlike nature, quickly moved to tears. It is obvious from his works that his interests encompassed not only literature but also astronomy and other sciences.

It is no surprise that the relationship of so capricious an author with the Weimar classicists Goethe and Schiller always remained ambivalent: Schiller once remarked that Jean Paul was as alien to him as someone who fell from the moon, and that he might have been worthy of admiration "if he had made as good use of his riches as other men made of their poverty.

Although he always kept his distance from the classicists, who wanted to "absolutize" art, and although his theoretical approach most notably in his Introduction to Aesthetics was considerably influenced by Romanticism, it would be misleading to call him a Romantic without qualification.

Here too he kept his distance: with all his subjectivism he didn't absolutize the subject of the author as the Romantics often did. Jean Paul had what had become rare amidst classical severity and romantic irony: humour. He also was one of the first who approached humour from a theoretical standpoint. He thought that both the Enlightenment and metaphysics had failed, though they still held importance for his worldview.

He arrived at a philosophy without illusions, and a state of humorous resignation. Correspondingly he was one of the first defenders of Schopenhauer 's philosophy. He didn't try to indoctrinate but to portray human happiness, even and especially in an increasingly alienated environment — the rococo castles and bleak villages of Upper Franconia.

Jean Paul was a lifelong defender of freedom of the press and his campaigns against censorship went beyond many of his contemporaries.


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Rudolf Steiner edited a multi-volume collection of the works of Jean Paul. Richter's more important works have been translated into English, for example: [3].