In: KulturPoetik 2013, Heft 1


Magnus Wieland


Exzerpte aus Eden. Sekundäre Schöpfung bei Jean Paul




This article deals with the concept of originality in the late 18th century, and its subversion in the fiction of the German writer Jean Paul. He is known for his frequent use of extracts and secondary sources. Given that in this sense Jean Paul does not fit the paradigm of the naïve genius and creatio ex nihilo, the article explores a kind of counter-aesthetic in Jean Paul’s œuvre which favours the copy rather than the original. In particular, it will be shown how Jean Paul responds to the problem of originality through different fictional variations of Adam’s original state in paradise, turning Eden into a setting of duplication and conservation. This depiction finally leads to a sort of poetic of preservation, a plea for derivative creativity as complementary and equal to genuine creation.