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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ESPRIT FORT.  Compared with him who has tradition on his side and requires no reasons for his actions, the free spirit is always weak, especially in action; for he is acquainted with too many motives and points of view, and has, therefore, an uncertain and unpractised hand.  What means exist of making him strong in spite of this- so that he will, at least, manage to survive, and will not perish ineffectually?  What is the source of the strong spirit (esprit fort)?  This is especially the question as to the production of genius.  Whence comes the energy, the unbending strength, the endurance with which the one, in opposition to accepted ideas, endeavours to obtain an entirely individual knowledge of the world?  
 

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