[syndicated profile] jobloemporium_feed
Some cliche somewhere said that 'a picture is worth a thousand words.' This has proven to be the case for me and especially when it comes to fan art. I have always sought out great fan art and have wanted to share it with as many people as possible. "Awesome Artwork We've Found Around The Net" is the outlet for that passion. In this column I will showcase the kick-ass artwork of...
[syndicated profile] wilderssecurityforum_feed

Posted by Windows_Security

My take
I always use freebies, but WSA has on my wife's laptop for years. WSA does not participate in security test anymore, because they showed poor results, AVAST shows very poor RAP results. I know of one PrevX4/WSA user which is running in community block mode for years and at least five Avast users running hardened mode for a year now with no problems at all. The attack vectors have changes with the world going on-line (shopping and social media). Let's move and guess how it is...

AntiVirus feature prediction thread (let's look ahead and see who's guestimate is close to reality)
[syndicated profile] ghacks_feed

Posted by Martin Brinkmann

I reviewed Imagus back in 2013 when the then popular extension Hoverzoom caused controversy in regards to scripts it ran that were not in any way related to enlarging images on the Internet.

Imagus came to same fame and many call it the best Chrome extension of its kind. The author of the extension ported it over to Firefox recently and it has been available for the web browser for a couple of months.

The add-on works similar to its Chrome sibling. You move the mouse cursor over an image on a website and it will display a larger version of it if provided or zoom the original image instead if that is not the case.

Imagus ships with supports for a large number of popular sites such as eBay, Reddit, Imgur, Wikipedia, DeviantArt, many Google services, Facebook or Twitter to name a few. All in all, it offers more than 200 default rules that ensure that it works on popular websites and services right out of the bat without any form of configuration.

imagus firefox

While designed with enlarging images in mind, it works with other types of media such as video or audio contents as well provided that there is a rule for it available.

As far as rules are concerned, you can look them all up in the options under sieve and create your own ones as well. The syntax uses regular expressions and it may make sense to study some of the existing rules the extension ships with to understand how to create your own.

There is also an option to define rules that block or allow specific sites or part of sites. This can be useful if you want the extension to work on a particular part of a site or block it from working on another. This uses regular expressions as well.

Besides that, there are also lots of options and preferences to play with. It is possible to add a hotkey to the functionality so that media only gets enlarged when you hit the key. This can be useful if you need the functionality at times but not all the time since it will enlarge images that you come across when you hover over them and a rule exists otherwise.

Other features include image preloading to speed things up, showing or hiding captions, defining where the image popup appears on the screen, or blocking hovered links from appearing in the browsing history.

Imagus supports a large list of shortcuts that come in handy as well. From default shortcuts such as Ctrl-s to save contents right away over +/- to zoom in or out to album and media specific shortcuts to jump to the next or previous image or pause playback.

Closing Words

Imagus is a useful browser extension that is now available for Chrome and Firefox. It is quite powerful thanks to its rules system and while it requires knowledge of regular expressions for customization purposes, it works quite well in its default state on many popular sites.

The post Image enlargement extension Imagus for Firefox appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

[syndicated profile] kasterborous_feed

Posted by Andrew Reynolds

Andrew Reynolds is a writer at Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews - All the latest Doctor Who news and reviews with our weekly podKast, features and interviews, and a long-running forum.

Time for another news-based Blasterpiece and this time the Earth braces itself for Matt Smith’s next cataclysmic Sci-Fi role, Who fans are collated, The Light at the End gets shortlisted, Doctor Who LEGO is taken apart, Sonics get constructed and Martha lands in Milton Keynes.

Matt Smith Joins Cast Of Patient Zero

He fought off prisoner zero, now he’s Patient Zero! Yes, it seems like Matt Smith just can’t stay away from sci-fi. He’ll be appearing alongside Game of Thrones‘ Natalie Dormer in the fight against a global pandemic in a post-apocalyptic world, where a super strain of rabies has turned most of humanity into “Infected,” a new, violent species.

A human survivor, immune to the virus and possessing the ability to speak with the Infected, will lead the hunt to find a cure for his wife and the rest of the world. Sort of like a ‘rabiescentative’ of the damned then?

Stefan Ruzowitzky (Deadfall) will direct the script written by Mike Le (Dark Summer).

Smith will also be appearing alongside another Game of Thrones alumna Emily Clarke and ‘Papa T’ himself Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator: Genesis or to give it its correct title Terminator: Geneizyzyz%&£54s.

It’s All About You, Who

Tom Baker starred in Doctor Who from 1974-1981

So, let’s talk about you. How are you? What have you been up to? Is that a new hat? A Giant green foam Stetson? Bold choice, bold choice.

Hat’s aside, The Mirror have been collating their data, and by their data, I mean YouGov’s data, to determine what else Doctor Who fans, enjoy.

Rather than sticking to a general overview of what makes up the teeming mass of Whovians in the UK, the results have been split into the difference between fans of the different actors to play the Doctor over the fifty plus years the BBC show has been running.

And the results are…well…just look at them.

Highlights include: Patrick Troughton: the Right’s favourite Doctor, the Fifth Doctor fans love of Chocolate Muffins, the Facebook habits of Tom Baker fans (who ‘like’ both Star Trek and 80’s prog rock band Marillion. Rumours that they enjoy both activities while dressed in a Pseudo Silk Kimono, Alone Again in the Lap of Luxury, inside The Opium Den remain to be confirmed) and the inner workings of Peter Capaldi fans, whose thoughts include: “Time is more important than money” and “I like to experience new food and cuisines.”

So don’t go to that new Syrian restaurant with them or you’ll end up footing the bill (unless by time, they mean watches. I’ve heard Nando’s accept Casios in lieu of payment).

Deserved Nominations For Big Finish

The Light At the End

Doctor Who 50th anniversary adventure The Light at the End – which featured all the surviving actors to play the Time Lord, up to and including eighth Doctor Paul McGann – is among the nominees for Best Online/Non-Broadcast Audio drama in this year’s BBC Audio Drama Awards.

The drama is up against Doctor Who spin off Jago and Litefoot: Encore of the Scorchies, Hood: The Scribe of Sherwood, The Child, Survivors: Revelation and The Manbuycow Podcast 2.9 – Treason.

Finalists will be announced on Tuesday 6th January 2015, with the winners revealed at a ceremony to be held on Sunday 1st February.

Doctor Who Lego Rejected!

Doctor Who fans, it’s time to pack away those dreams of a Who-based LEGO set (have you ever trod on one of those dreams, hurts like hell) for another round of submissions and offer good natured congratulations to Thomas Poulsom, the creator of The Big Bang Theory set now being immortalised in plastic bricks.

For those out of the squared, angular blocky loop, Lego invites its fans to create and submit original designs to the company, posting their concepts on the Lego Ideas page.

Once a design reaches 10,000 online supporters, it is ushered into an internal company review process. A board of specialists – including set designers and marketers – reviews each concept for playability, safety and overall fit within the Lego brand. The chosen few become sets that the toy company offers alongside mainstay themes like Star Wars, Ninjago and Lego City.

Watch The Day of the Doctor: In Lego!!!! [VIDEO]

The BBC news site has a full account of Poulsom’s winning entry, including his life-long love of all things LEGO, but there are also a few rousing words from Glen Wadleigh, a co-creator of the one of the Doctor Who concepts, who encourages fans to keep voting for further Who based concepts when they appear on the LEGO ideas page: “One of them will hit the right formula someday,” he said.

We can only hope…

While you’re waiting for LEGO to give the go ahead, why not build your own replica of The War Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver – amongst many other Doctors – courtesy of Enzdude over at Instructables.

Freema Agyeman In Milton Keynes

And finally, Martha herself Freema Agyeman attended this year’s Collectormania at the ArenaMK, Milton Keynes – where alongside Stargate’s Amanda Tapping and Leeds United legends Eddie Gray and Norman Hunter (yes, really) – she posed for pictures and signed autographs for awaiting fans.

Martha in Torchwood

The con also featured a game zone where people could play video games as well as the usual stalls selling unique items such as rare comic books, merchandise from the likes of The Walking Dead and the Batman films, comic book artists, memorabilia from great films, toys and even a sword stand.

The post Matt Smith’s New Movie, Doctor Who Stats, Lego & BIg Finish Nominations appeared first on Kasterborous Doctor Who News and Reviews.

[syndicated profile] surlalunefairytales_feed

Posted by Heidi Anne Heiner

The Cinderella Murder: An Under Suspicion Novel by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke is a new release using Cinderella for a bit of inspiration. Or at least to sell a few books, although Clark and Burke seem to do okay on their own. So I had to share.

Book description:

In a first-time collaboration, “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark partners with bestselling author Alafair Burke to deliver a brand new suspense series about a television program featuring cold case murders.

Television producer Laurie Moran is delighted when the pilot for her reality drama, Under Suspicion, is a success. Even more, the program—a cold case series that revisits unsolved crimes by recreating them with those affected—is off to a fantastic start when it helps solve an infamous murder in the very first episode.

Now Laurie has the ideal case to feature in the next episode of Under Suspicion: the Cinderella Murder. When Susan Dempsey, a beautiful and multi-talented UCLA student, was found dead, her murder raised numerous questions. Why was her car parked miles from her body? Had she ever shown up for the acting audition she was due to attend at the home of an up-and-coming director? Why does Susan’s boyfriend want to avoid questions about their relationship? Was her disappearance connected to a controversial church that was active on campus? Was she close to her computer science professor because of her technological brilliance, or something more? And why was Susan missing one of her shoes when her body was discovered?

With the help of lawyer and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley, Laurie knows the case will attract great ratings, especially when the former suspects include Hollywood’s elite and tech billionaires. The suspense and drama are perfect for the silver screen—but is Cinderella’s murderer ready for a close-up?

Together Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke deliver an exciting publishing event: the start of a thrilling new series guaranteed to keep you guessing until the last suspenseful page.
[syndicated profile] torrentfreak_feed

Posted by Andy

serversFollowing a lengthy investigation by anti-piracy group Antipiratbyrån, in 2010 police raided a “warez scene” topsite known as Devil. Dozens of servers were seized containing an estimated 250 terabytes of pirate content.

One man was arrested and earlier this year was eventually charged with unlawfully making content available “intentionally or by gross negligence.”

Police say that the man acted “in consultation or concert with other persons, supplied, installed, programmed, maintained, funded and otherwise administered and managed” the file-sharing network from where the infringements were carried out. It’s claimed that the Devil topsite had around 200 members.

All told the man is accused of illegally making available 2,250 mainly Hollywood movies, a record amount according to the prosecutor.

“We have not prosecuted for this many movies in the past. There are many movies and large data set,” says prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad. “It is also the largest analysis of computers ever made in an individual case.”

Few details have been made available on the case but it’s now been revealed that Antipiratbyrån managed to trace the main Devil server back to the data center of a Stockholm-based electronics company. The site’s alleged operator, a man from Väsbybo in his 50s and employee of the company, reportedly admitted being in control of the server.

While it would likely have been the intention of Devil’s operator for the content on the site to remain private, leaks inevitably occurred. Predictably some of that material ended up on public torrent sites, an aggravating factor according to Antipiratbyrån lawyer Henrik Pontén.

“This is a very big issue and it is this type of crime that is the basis for all illegal file sharing. The films available on Pirate Bay circulate from these smaller networks,” Pontén says.

The big question now concerns potential damages. Pontén says that the six main studios behind the case could demand between $673,400 and $2.69m per movie. Multiply that by 2,250 and that’s an astonishing amount, but the lawyer says that in order not to burden the justice system, a few titles could be selected.

Henrik Olsson Lilja, a lawyer representing the defendant, declined to comment in detail but criticized the potential for high damages.

“I want to wait for the trial, but there was no intent in the sense that the prosecutor is looking for,” Lilja told Mitte.se. “In practice, these are American-style punitive damages.”

Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing and anonymous VPN services.

[syndicated profile] the_one_ring_net_feed

Posted by Demosthenes

CAM04294 They breed them tough in Finland! TORn chatroom moderator Miriel has been queueing with around a hundred fellow Hobbit fans at Helsinki’s Tennispalatsi cinema to be among the first to snaffle up tickets for The Battle of the Five Armies.

She writes:

Last day of waiting for the tickets in Finland. Neither snow nor construction works,wind nor cold asphalt has conqurered us! With the earliest fans arriving three weeks ago, last night saw about a hundred fans equipped with tents, sleeping bags, and a lot of happy geekiness.

The Hobbit-themed pieces sold by the Finnish Tolkien society certainly contributed to the good mood among the singing, laughing and general cheerfullness that dominated the evening. uttering quite a bit after a temperature drop, we retreated into our tents for the final night outdoors. Tomorrow night the kind staff at the Tennispalatsi-cinema will host us indoors, with a great supply of movies to watch on the big screen.

Queue numbers will be handed out when they open up the doors at 10pm in the evening. Hopefully we will have ventured out of these warm cosy tents before that! The arrival of the rest of the queue (estimations say a couple of hundred more fans before the evening falls) will lure us out to join the fun and admire the stunning costumes!

For that is what this is ultimately about – having a great time together!

CAM04278 CAM04270 CAM04298 CAM04296 CAM04295 CAM04294 CAM04282 CAM04279

[syndicated profile] wilderssecurityforum_feed

Posted by dogbite

I was reading through this very interesting thread on Reddit:


This statement by the engineer was kinda shocking:

"Most exciting innovations are SSDs. Upcoming technology will allow us to recover SSDs that have been completely overwritten with zeros, or wiped."

Will this be really possible? I mean recovering data from SSD even if wiped properly?
[syndicated profile] the_one_ring_net_feed

Posted by Demosthenes

Ringfrodo The BBC’s Jane Ciabattari writes about the ’60s counter-culture influence of J.R.R. Tolkien. It seems a bit of a reach to call Tolkien a figurehead for the movement, but certainly his works struck a chord — and inspired — with people.

A couple of nitpicks and clarifications:

It’s Middle-earth not Middle Earth.

The note (which is from Letter #226) about the influence of the Somme on the Morannon scenes is incomplete. It reads in full: “The Dead Marshes and the approaches to the Morannon owe something to Northern France after the Battle of the Somme. They owe more to William Morris and his Huns and Romans, as in The House of the Wolflings or The Roots of the Mountains.”

And, as John D Rateliff outlines, Tolkien owned and drove motor vehicles during the 1930s. After WWII he never drove or owned one, having come to grasp “the damage that the internal combustion engine and new roads were doing to the landscape”.

Remember to follow the link at the bottom to read the full article on the Beeb.

Hobbits and hippies: Tolkien and the counterculture

It was a time of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Not to mention protest against the Vietnam War and marches for civil rights and the women’s movement. Who would think a figurehead for this social upheaval would be a tweedy Christian philologist at Oxford?

But during the 1960s, a time of accelerating social change driven in part by 42 million Baby Boomers coming of age, Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings became required reading for the nascent counterculture, devoured simultaneously by students, artists, writers, rock bands and other agents of cultural change. The slogans ‘Frodo Lives’ and ‘Gandalf for President’ festooned subway stations worldwide as graffiti.

Middle Earth, JRR Tolkien’s meticulously detailed and mythic alternate universe, was created against the backdrop of two world wars. As a professor at Oxford , Tolkien taught Anglo-Saxon, Old Icelandic and medieval Welsh and translated Beowulf, which inspired his later monsters. His fantasy vision, and his sense of evil looming over the good life, was shaped by his devout Catholicism and his experience serving in World War I, in which he lost all but one of his close friends.

“The Dead Marshes and the approaches to the Morannon owe something to northern France after the Battle of the Somme,” he wrote in a 1960 letter. Frodo and Sam struggling to reach Mordor is a cracked mirror reflection of the young soldiers caught in the blasted landscape and slaughter of trench warfare on the Western Front.

tolkien_nu_promo For decades, fans have been obsessed with Tolkien’s Great War of the Ring, with its wizards and magicians, the legions of hobbits, dwarves, elves, orcs, giants, ents, the dragon Smaug guarding his treasure and the threatening Dark Lord. They were popular initially but sales of The Hobbit (published in 1937) and The Lord of the Rings (beginning in 1954) exploded in the mid-1960s, driven by a young generation charmed by Tolkien’s imaginative abundance, the splendour of his tales from a pre-Christian time and his obsessive cataloguing of the history, language and geography of his invented world.

But deeper than this, certain aspects of Tolkien’s worldview matched the perspective of hippies, anti-war protestors, civil rights marchers and others seeking to change the established order. In fact, the values articulated by Tolkien were ideally suited for the 1960s counterculture movements. Today we’d think of Tolkien’s work as being aligned with the geek set of Comic-Con, but it was once closer to the Woodstock crowd. How did this happen?

[Read More]

[syndicated profile] the_one_ring_net_feed

Posted by Demosthenes

Benedict Cumberbatch Benedict Cumberbatch chats about his role as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, and the impact of fame on his life.

How does he judge his new-found standing? By the number of roles he’s offered? The scale of the film? The size of the fee? He interrupts each question. “No … No … No …”

“What matters to me is the quality and the variety of the work. I’m in it for the long game. I’m interested in working in 40 years’ time, and turning round and talking to an actor on set and telling them stories about working with Judi Dench and Michael Gambon. So any talk of “man of the moment” hype, heat, whatever, I just smile wryly. It’s the same shit with “sexiest whatever” – I was around 10 years before that as an actor and no one took the same face seriously.”

[Read More]

[syndicated profile] filmbinpodcast_feed

Posted by filmbin


This time on ‘Spoiler Filled Film Conversation Hooray’, it’s Abi’s turn to choose again, and so Michael Shannon makes another appearance! This time he’s appearing in ‘Grand Theft Parsons’ from 2003, a pseudo-true life tale about the cremation pact between Byrds singer Gram Parsons and his producer. Join Rich, Abi and Jamie as they talk about the mighty Shannon, Johnny Knoxville, the ongoing mildness of being in ‘Grand Theft Parsons’, and wonder just what kind of name ‘Gram’ is anyway. If none of that is enough then there’s cactus talk!

Recorded: 21 September 2014.


[syndicated profile] filmbinpodcast_feed

Posted by filmbin


There’s a lot to talk about with ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, Rich’s birthday commentary choice for this year, and by Scott this time’s Crew of Rich, Oli and Abi have a go at saying it all! Yes, it’s a classic, with fusions of Ian Fleming and Roald Dahl, dashes of Cubby Broccoli and Rowland Emmet’s fantastic inventions, and Lionel Jefferies apparently standing for hours at a time in his little hut.

Oh, where to start? It’s the ultimate kids movie, but maybe not quite up there for adults? Utterly beautiful scenery everywhere as Broccoli takes the movie all over Europe? Benny Hill in his best big screen performance? The endless James Bond connections and hordes of perfect songs banging down about your head like confetti? Oh, what madness is this?!

In the end result, Rich of course loves it, Abi does too with some reservations, and Oli drops out of it all a little once the lengthy fantasy sequence kicks in. Is it just coincidence or does he have castle sequence intolerance? [See: ‘The Great Race’.] It is a great movie though, and the Childcatcher is still one of the creepiest characters to ever plague a screen. Even now the Crew are shuddering in their Vault. Oh, go watch ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and don’t listen to the Crew banging on, even if they are for once being mildly informative.

The Crew were paused at black at 00:00:00 on the video track, just before Leo the MGM Lion pops up in his circle, and were watching region 2 PAL DVD versions of ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’. To look through fan commentaries from all over the Internet, check out www.zarban.com, Zarban’s House of Commentaries. Shnell, shnell, get over there!

Recorded: 19 November 2014.


[syndicated profile] svengoolie_feed

Posted by Svengoolie

Tonight on MeTV-the beloved  actor who played “Barney Fife” on the “Andy Griffith Show” (coincidentally also seen here on MeTV) struts his comedic stuff as a would-be reporter who gets spooked in a haunted house where a murder was committed- it’s Don Knotts in “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken”!

Don, as mild-mannered Luther Heggs, a newspaper type-setter who wants to be a full-fledged reporter, supposedly witnesses a murder outside a haunted house, and runs to the police with the bulletin- only to be proven wrong, and made to feel like a fool. At his rooming house breakfast the next day, Ollie,a smart-aleck  reporter from the newspaper rubs it in big time- this is only made worse by the fact that the reporter is dating a lovely local girl, Alma, that Luther is enamored with!

Ollie is also instrumental in setting up Luther to spend the night in the old haunted Simmons “murder” house, where Mr. Simmons killed his wife. Luther is apprehensive, but, with the lure of this being a story with his by-line, braves his fears and heads into the house just before  the hour that mysterious events allegedly always take place. Sure enough- Luther witnesses a lot of unexplained phenomenon, including  the old organ in the house playing by itself- and, as the story of his horrific night spreads, he becomes a town hero- until the one surviving member of the Simmons clan  decides to sue him for making up a libelous story! Luther is brought to trial- and must prove that he did see everything he reported- which means one more dangerous trip to the  old mansion!

This 1966 horror-comedy is a favorite of  so many people- including our friend, wrestling icon Jim Cornette- and features lots of familiar faces that you’ll recognize from  classic TV shows. Don Knotts is hilarious , playing is stock character, loaded with phony bravado while shaking like a leaf in reality- and his love interest, Joan Staley, is definitely worth facing any frights for! You’ll recognize the music styling of Vic Mizzy, who provides the soundtrack- he did lots of theme and background music for  classic TV shows as well, including “The Addams Family”.

This “Barney” entry in our “Boris and Barney?!” theme this month runs tonight at 10 pm eastern/pacific, 9 pm central, and please check your local listings for the time it runs where you are. In Chicago, viewers get a little more “Boris” in the original “Frankenstein”- on our sister station, WCIU, the U, at 11 am.

Don’t forget- speaking of ghosts- I’ll be at the Chicago Ghost Conference at Schurz High School this afternoon from 1 to 3 pm. More information is available at the “appearances” tab here on our site.

Before next week’s Thanksgiving turkey- tune in for a heaping helping of “Chicken” with us tonight!

50 Amy Adams (in Man of Steel) Icons

Nov. 22nd, 2014 12:52 am
ariyanaforever: (Karen Elson: White smoke)
[personal profile] ariyanaforever posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
Man of Steel
→ Lois Lane [50]

over here!

Loki: Agent of Asgard #7 - "Fall Out"

Nov. 22nd, 2014 03:26 pm
laughing_tree: (Default)
[personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily

"To Doctor Doom, gods are to be overcome. I see Doom as someone who skim-read Nietzsche in college and decided that he is the Overman, that he's crossed the bridge that is humanity and overcome it. In his own eyes, he is, to all intents and purposes, a God - and we'll see that some of subjects feel the same way. So when he looks at Loki, who was born into godhood, there's the contempt the self-made man feels for the man who inherited his power." -- Al Ewing

Read more... )
wolfling: (cedric)
[personal profile] wolfling
So had today off work and was going to spend just a few hours playing Dragon Age Inquisition and then go on and do other stuff.

Hahahahaha, yeah no. I think, all told I played for ten, ten and a half hours today? Not all at once, there was a several hour break in the middle there, but... yeah.

Maybe about an hour of that was me finally getting a handle on the crafting in the game and going through and making/upgrading armor and weapons for everybody. I have to say, there's something really satisfying about making some armor or weapon that kicks ass (or as much ass as they can kick at my level) instead of just finding or buying the same. Also, finally got my inquisitor out of the dragon armor, which while I appreciated the stats at the beginning, is not really a look I liked on him. I'm much happier with him in his chestnut brown scout armor, looks more like I want him to wear.

I'm happy to say that casual setting continues to make it so I can actually survive fights and move ahead in the story. Which, you have to understand, I really really suck at video games. Like really. Like I doubt I would've got through the first two Dragon Ages without using the immortal cheat in the dev console. I'm getting more proficient at fighting, but I still appreciate the added boost the casual setting gives me. I'm for the most part able to play so far like I played DA2, which is mostly just concentrating on my own characters attacks and leaving the party to the AI. I know a lot of people who play like the fights to be more challenging, and it's cool that the game can give that to them too, but I'm so very happy and grateful that they also considered players like me who have really bad reflexes and are more in it for the story.

And man what a story so far... )
[syndicated profile] the_one_ring_net_feed

Posted by Demosthenes

J  R  R TolkienIn our latest Library feature, Tedoras takes up the vexed issue of Tolkien and allegory.


Majesty and simplicity: on Tolkien and allegory

by Tedoras

Tolkien’s disdain, and avowed desuetude, of allegory is widely known by most familiar with his writings. Snippets from essays, letters, and remarks all show the Professor rejecting the notion that allegory is employed in his mythology; instead, Tolkien directs readers to the difference between allegory and applicability.

The “allegory-applicability” debate has been a steady focus of scholars for years. However, by and large, the scholarly community has deferred to Tolkien’s own rejection of allegory on simple fidelity.

A close reading of The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien reveals that such deference is perhaps fallacious. In the context of the letters I will discuss below, Tolkien himself explain how the text may be “applied.” With the Professor’s own “interpretation” (though it is hard to call the very author an “interpreter”) in hand, we may put aside all other conjectures, serious and ridiculous, which have plagued all interested minds.

Letters of JRR Tolkien Yes, you have inferred correctly: I do not believe that we can make the distinction between allegory and applicability as Tolkien does. The truth is, Tolkien’s “application” further reveals his conscious intent, and most definite understanding, of the allegory in the mythology, particularly as manifested in The Lord of the Rings. As you will see, this debate can be confounded by how one defines “allegory” and “applicability,” and moreover by the notion of intent.

I will, thus, be examining what happens when the freedom of the reader and the mind of the author converge. That is, what happens when the reader is the author? At that point, we must tread carefully, and seek to take most seriously what is said; for at that junction the truth is revealed. The big question is: how do we define Tolkien’s “interpretation” of his own texts?

Tolkien’s allegory, like fellow Inkling C.S. Lewis’, is religious in nature. But unlike the realm of Narnia, Tolkien’s is devised subtly; so much so, in fact, that Tolkien did not notice it slipping into his world at first (though many, including this author, would argue that subtlety is characteristic of allegory, or a well-executed one, at any rate).

At a certain point, however, he did notice it, he admits; and thence developed the complexity described in his many letters. The greatest problems of this debate arise when discussing intent or motive. While Tolkien may not have set out to write a religious work and ended up with his mythology or The Lord of the Rings, specifically, he did write with an incipient, deeply-developing religious allegory in mind, which clearly evinced itself to him in writing The Silmarillion.

Thus, his original intent was not allegorical in nature—it did not precede the story. Yet a story from which allegory then emanates remains an allegory, if not of a different type.

Tolkien states most frankly that “any attempt to explain the purport of myth or fairytale must use allegorical language” (Tolkien, Letters, 145). This statement is easy enough to accept as true, and, for most people, it is enough to forgo the effort to understand Tolkien’s allegory.

the silmarillion I ask everyone to bear in mind this line; for Tolkien throughout never does explain, or even frame his answers, as the purport of his myth; rather, he defaults to an explanation of allegory itself. This explanation he would most likely characterize as “applicability,” as he does in letter #203. But this is the essence of my argument: the “applicability” of the story to its own author is, and can only be, the true identity of the tale, the allegory.

The allegory of his myth, and thus not the purport thereof, constitutes three main parts: “Fall, Mortality, and the Machine” (Tolkien 145). The first two parts are readily understandable, but the Machine aspect Tolkien defines as “all use of external plans or devices…instead of development of the inherent inner powers or talents” (Tolkien 145-46). The explicit employ of the allegory, developing from this three-part definition, is further explained by Tolkien.

The notion of the Fall is perhaps the most overtly religious, and it is a main driver of the mythology and story. Conflicts arise from falls, which the “Children of God” mainly experience, and which Tolkien says mostly concerns The Silmarillion, in which the repeated falls of the Elves drive the story (Tolkien 147). The first fall, however, is a “fall of Angels” to Tolkien’s mind, involving the “gods” during Creation (Tolkien 147). This first fall is that of Morgoth, and in his explanation thereof, Tolkien not only equates the Valar with angelic spirits, but also the fall itself with that of Satan (Tolkien 243). Valinor is “a kind of Paradise,” and it is there that the first fall of Elves, “war in Paradise, the slaying of Elves by Elves,” takes place (Tolkien 148).

Interestingly, to a mortal such as Frodo, Valinor represents “a purgatory and a reward,” for there he is granted temporary abidance for his virtuous deeds “in littleness and in greatness” before passing on, as it were (Tolkien 328). From this (and I will refer those seeking more detail to the text of letter #131), Tolkien admits that The Lord of the Rings, built on this foundation, “is a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision” (Tolkien 172).

The subtlety of this allegory, including the conscious excising of overtly religious diction and practice in the text, is because the “religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism,” the underlying myth being the allegorical foundation, rooted so deeply and so well that the works thence derived have no apparent hint of it (Tolkien 172).


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