E. T. A. Hoffman's Nutcracker
Nutcracker black forest gnome






Worsens existential conflicts


Childish behavior and anxiety


Proximity to an alarm

Collected by

Warehouse 13


Aisle of Noel





Date of Collection

March 27, 1952



Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann spent much of his passion serving as a composer, artist and jurist in Prussia. Spinning narratives populated by ghosts, madmen and primitive robots terrified readers of the symbolic ugliness lurking beneath regular people. Other times, the challenge of making meaningful artistic content, along with balancing a legal position, could compromise one’s vision of perfection. The mix of supernatural clashing against the pain of realism inspired countless artists, from Gogol, Dickens, Baudelaire and Dostoevsky to Wagner, Kafka and Hitchcock.

What seems contradictory to the usual tales of insanity is his most memorable work – The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Yes, the very same story adaptation every child sees performed in theater at least ten times. The starring nutcracker comes to life in command of a toy soldier army against a hydra-headed King Rat. An acid dream meet delirium fairy tale. But in the original ending, our sweetheart Marie chooses to for the wonderland of dreams. Forever.


Will animate whenever an alarm rings nearby it then approaches the nearest person. Its presence unnerves onlookers, making them focus inwards on their own accomplishments. Instead, it just calls out the most problematic crises they’re undergoing to the forefront of their mind. Self-worth, doubt and lack of accomplishment all begin crowding one’s thoughts.

In response, the affected try to scoff at responsibility like a child. Removing any expectations would remove the belief one has failed but often brings forth greater anxiety over not being able to control anything. Accepting your own flaws and choosing to embrace or improve makes all insecurities drift away. All the time during use, people report seeing crazy repeating fractals around the edges of objects, indicating how unstable their problems are truly making them.

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