Jean Paul Biography
(German Romantic Writer Best Known for His Humorous Novels and Stories)
Birthday: March 21, 1763 (Aries)
Born In: Wunsiedel, Germany
The German novelist Jean Paul was a man counted amongst the most popular humor writers of the early 19th centuries. He was one of the early writers of the Romantic era, the artistic and literary movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century. His writings mark the transition from the ideals of Weimar Classicism to the intuitiveness of Romanticism. He was born as the son of a pastor and his family which was never rich plunged to abject poverty after the death of his father; Jean was a teenager then. As a young man he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and began studying theology. However, he soon realized that a career in religion was not his calling and decided to become a writer instead. At birth he had been named Johann Paul Friedrich Richter though he adopted a different pen-name when he began to write. As he had always admired the works of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the Genevan philosopher and writer, he chose Jean Paul as his pseudonym. A spiritual experience stemming from the vision of his own death changed his outlook on life and deeply influenced him as a writer. The women characters in his books possessed a certain psychological depth which endeared him to his female writers as most male writers in Germany at that time lacked empathy towards women.