Edition Practices

Jean Paul Edition

The ‘Jean Paul Edition’ at the BBAW is editing all 2200 letters to the German author Jean Paul, to appear as a complete edition with commentary. Under the responsibility of Prof. Dr. Markus Bernauer.

The project was supported until 2006 by the Academies’ Research Programme. Since 2008 it has been funded by a number of foundations: the Oberfrankenstiftung in Bayreuth (with additional funds from the Bayerische Landesstiftung), the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung für Wissenschaftsförderung, the Otto Wolff-Stiftung, the Gerda Henkel Stiftung and the Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung.
Jean Paul (Johann Paul Friedrich Richter, 1763–1825) was one of the most successful writers of the era of Goethe and he remains one of the ‘classics’ of German literature. As might be expected, he has an impressive roster of illustrious correspondents: Achim von Arnim, Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué, King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, Joseph Görres, Johann Peter Hebel, Johann Gottfried Herder and Caroline Herder, Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Queen Luise of Prussia, King Max Joseph I of Bavaria, August von Platen, Ludwig Tieck, Rahel Varnhagen, Christoph Martin Wieland – to name only a few of his more than 400 correspondents. There are also letters from friends that attest the progress of Paul’s literary works, letters from publishers, from family, and letters that reflect his private life. Taken together, they create a picture of the decades around 1800 from Jean Paul’s viewpoint, adding striking new aspects to our vision of that epoch as a whole.
The project was initially directed by Hans-Henrik Krummacher, then by Norbert Miller; it is now directed by the latter with Markus Bernauer. The edition is published with detailed commentary, as Section IV of the historical and critical edition of Jean Paul’s writings, begun by Eduard Berend. Volumes published so far are: Vol. 1 (2004) ed. Monika Meier; Vol. 2 (2004) ed. Dorothea Böck and Jörg Paulus; Vol. 3.1 (2009) ed. Angela Goldack, Monika Meier and Norbert Miller; Vol. 3.2 (2009) ed. Markus Bernauer, Angela Goldack and Petra Kabus; Vol. 4 (2010) ed. Michael Rölcke and Angela Steinsiek; Vol. 5 (2011) ed. Jörg Paulus; Vol. 6 (2012) ed. Michael Rölcke and Angela Steinsiek; Vol. 7 (2013) ed. Markus Bernauer; Vol. 8 (2015) ed. Markus Bernauer. 
The Digitazing of Jean Paul's complete letters from the critical edition began in spring 2016 – funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.