Tag Archives: 1800s

Adventure in Tomahawk Cemetery (est. 1870)

Related Post: Cross-Country Adventure Hiatus!

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Not much happened on the road… But this was the highlight of my cross-country trip!

To my surprise, right next to our hotel in Kansas was this charming 19th-century cemetery. So I thought I’d jump the very short fence with my shiba inu Nikki (who I had to throw over) and have ourselves a little adventure. :)

The most interesting tidbit about Tomahawk Cemetery is that there is a total of 65 marked unknown graves.

During a street widening project in the early 1990s, the City of Overland Park identified 30 obvious graves that would have to be relocated to another area of the cemetery to accommodate utilities. Some graves were missing headstones and many stones were illegible… Some of the graves identified had headstones that were moved, and for those missing headstones, new granite markers were be placed. While moving the graves, a large number of unmarked graves were uncovered, moved, and also marked. –Johnson County KSGenWeb

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Note on “The Nutcracker”

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the following images or video!!

One of my favorite operas is Jacques Offenbach‘s The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d’Hoffmann). This opera is a fantastical retelling of the life of the German Romantic author E. T. A. Hoffmann,  casting Hoffmann as the protagonist of his own stories.

Placido Domingo performing the “Chanson de Kleinzach” aria.

Désirée Rancatore performing “Les oiseaux dans la charmille.”

Through The Tales of Hoffmann, I developed an interest in Hoffmann and his stories, quickly leading me to Sigmund Freud’s The Uncanny. In Freud’s essay, he uses many of the same Hoffmann stories as Offenbach, but in this case to prove a psychological point (not that Offenbach’s opera isn’t deeply psychological). If I remember correctly, Freud even mentions Offenbach’s opera.

Portrait of E. T. A. Hoffmann

I’m sure you are all wondering, “What does all this have to do with The Nutcracker?” Well, little do most people know, E. T. A. Hoffmann wrote in 1816 one of the earliest versions of The Nutcracker story, entitled The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Nussknacker und Mausekönig).

Alexandre Dumas was also a fan of Hoffmann, employing allusions to Hoffmann’s stories in The Count of Monte Cristo. Dumas even went as far as creating a revision to Hoffmann’s Nutcracker in 1844 called History of The Nutcracker (Histoire d’un casse-noisette), or The Tale of the Nutcracker.

9780143104834

Towards the end of the 19th Century, Hoffmann’s Nutcracker was adapted to ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, perhaps the most famous incarnation of the tale. I write this post because my dad purchased tickets to the San Francisco Ballet to see The Nutcracker at the end of the month. Perhaps later I’ll add my thoughts on the production to this post.

Tchaikovsky’s music is always wonderful, if not a little too overplayed for the holidays. A lot of people tend to associate The March from The Nutcracker or The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy not with Tchaikovsky, but with the thousands of Christmas commercials that use these pieces. This also happens with The Chinese Tea Dance from The Nutcracker with Disney’s Fantasia and The Sleeping Beauty Waltz with Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

I believe the most creative and exciting production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is Mark Morris’s The Hard Nut. The Hard Nut is set in 1950s America with a very retro feel inspired by the comic artist Charles Burns — a strange but brilliant compliment to the classical music. I hope to one day be able to attend a live performance.

Advertisement for The Hard Nut.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Some Visual Inspiration

Just wanted to organize some images that have inspired/continue to inspire me of late.

Images in chronological order.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images!!

(Click on images to enlarge.)

“Antaeus setting down Dante and Virgil in the last circle of hell” (1827) by William Blake

“Symphony in White no 1″ (1862) by James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Portrait of Robert Louis Stevenson (1887) by John Singer Sargent

“Landscape with Green Trees or Beech Trees in Kerduel”
(1893) by Maurice Denis

Actress Barbara Stanwyck (1940s)

Japanese author Dazai Osamu (1940s)

“Mahoning” (1956) by Franz Klein

“Tet” (1958) by Morris Louis

Poster for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” (1958)

From Ingmar Bergman’s “The Magician” (1958) starring Max von Sydow and Ingrid Thulin

Actress Sarah Miles in “Vogue” (1964).

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


Brief Update

Here is a brief update on my current creative projects and endeavors…!

The Poet and the Flea, graphic novel: 16 pages of written script (1 page of script = 4-6 illustrated pages), and about 18 pages of illustrated work in progress. I am almost half way towards my goal of 40 pages. When I reach 40 pages, I will begin to post the graphic novel online. My first post will include 5 pages and I will update at least once a week following that. Also, working on constructing a tumblr page and a kickstarter.com profile.

New Screenplay!!: I began working on a new screenplay intended for a short film. The screenplay is entitled Death Is No Bad Friend and is about Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) in San Francisco.

To Do:

  • Register current screenplays through Writers Guild of America.
  • Apply to The Austin Film Festival Screenplay & Teleplay Awards before May 15th.

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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