Yes, this blog is "chiefly about Hawthorne matters." Just not lately.
But I can say that Hawthorne would have appreciated the writing in the latest J-Drama that the Full Metal Archivist and I have been watching together on Veoh. So much of Bara no nai Hanaya reminds me of The Scarlet Letter--in particular, its plot compression and dramatic economy, its probing of the ethical tensions within and between different forms of love, its bending of the conventions of the romance to address the social tensions of its day--but it puts a dead mother in the place of the vacated seat of the patriarch. Come to think of it, if The Wire is tv's best modernist novel, then Bara no nai Hanaya may well make a case for the superiority of Hawthornean romance for television today. (How's that for a provocative thesis about the relative value of one show I haven't seen at all and another whose final episode I literally can't wait to be fansubbed? Who says evaluative criticism is dead?)
Once the semester is over, I promise to return to research blogging, which mostly means Hawthorne blogging. Looking over my posts from the first few months of CitizenSE's existence, I'm surprised--and delighted--at how many threads I left hanging. But until then, this will remain the academic/family life blog it has morphed into since our return from Japan last August. Feel free to look around the place and leave a comment, and thanks for dropping by.