Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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THE BOOK BECOMES ALMOST HUMAN.  Every writer is surprised anew when a book, as soon as it has separated from him, begins to take on a life of its own.  He feels as if one part of an insect had been severed and were going its own way.  Perhaps he almost forgets the book; perhaps he rises above the views set down in it; perhaps he no longer understands it and has lost those wings on which he soared when he devised that book.  Meanwhile, it goes about finding its readers, kindles life, pleases, horrifies, fathers new works, becomes the soul of others' resolutions and behavior.  In short, it lives like a being fitted out with mind and soul—yet it is nevertheless not human.  The most fortunate author is one who is able to say as an old man that all he had of life-giving, invigorating, uplifting, enlightening thoughts and feelings still lives on in his writings, and that he himself is only the gray ash, while the fire has been rescued and carried forth everywhere.  If one considers, then, that a man's every action, not only his books, in some way becomes the occasion for other actions, decisions, and thoughts; that everything which is happening is inextricably tied to everything which will happen; then one understands the real immortality, that of movement: what once has moved others is like an insect in amber, enclosed and immortalized in the general intertwining of all that exists.  
 

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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All works are unique editions by Lexido of public domain texts provided by kind permission of Project Gutenberg

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