German writer, born in Wunsiedel in 1763 and died in Bayreuth in 1825. Real name Johann Paul Friedrich, became famous by his literary pseudonym of Jean Paul. His father was a teacher and, later, preacher in the upper Franconia; almost always lived in his native land, with the exception of the period between 1781 to 1784 and from 1797 to 1803. In their training influenced the sentimentality, the Sturm und Drang and late rationalism. He studied theology at Leipzig between 1780-81; read the great satirical English and they turned to a satire of spirit illustrated, determined to devote himself to the profession free of writer, unthinkable thing in those days. He wrote anonymous satires, Greenlandic processes (1783), book full of bitter, asymmetrical, Baroque and filled with learned and funny metaphors compendium. With the publication of this work, it could not cope with its creditors and had to flee to Hof in 1784, approaching the idilico-sentimental genus that made possible the success of the author.
In 1790 he began to use the pseudonym of Jean Paul, pronounced the French way. He had to work for Professor and tutor; He met the philosophy of Kant, Fichte, Hamann and Herder. In 1793 he published Wuz and the invisible Lodge, with influences from Sterne, Fielding and Moritz. In 1795, Hesperus, book conceived as end of the lodge, work very well accepted by the public and critics and praised by Goethe, Herder, Schiller, etc. In 1796 he published two novels life of Quintus Fixlein and Siebenkas, the latter can consider it as a precedent of Existentialism. Between 1797-1800 he lived in Weimar, had friendship with Herder and Von Kalb, not so with Goethe or Schiller by those who felt sympathy or communed with his conception of art. With the Titan novel, 1800, expressed their opposition to the Goethe Wilhelm Meister. The unique poetic complete formulation of the era is initiation to aesthetics (1804).
He married and returned definitively to Bayreuth, to write the age of Turkey (1804-05). Other works of his last period are: Comet (1820-22); and Levana or the science of education (1807). This didactic book and the political commitment of the writer, at the service of political reform in Germany, led him to his definitive consecration, as he was named Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Heidelberg in 1817. Blind while working on Selina or the immortality of the soul, was 1827.