Things have been pretty hectic at work, and V. has been running around like a crazy woman trying to get ready for the big academic conference she’ll be at next week. But the big reason that I haven’t posted is that I already have most of a hefty post written. It happened to 19th C. authors Thomas Love Peacock and Charles Dickens. (Dickens famously died before revealing who did kill Edwin Drood, sparking a hundred years of debate and leaving Edgar Allen Poe the title of inventor of the modern mystery story.) It happened to Schubert. Skyscrapers stand unfinished on the Pacific Rim, waiting for the next economic boom; the Cathedral of St. John stands unfinished in New York, waiting for something else. Often it seems like artistic performance anxiety prevents one from finishing the deed — see, for instance, Ralph Ellison’s Juneteenth, a gargantuan manuscript lost once to fire and entirely reassembled, added to in dribs and drabs for thirty years and never, ever handed off by Ellison. I feel for the editor who had to make something of that manuscript, and I feel for Ellison. My upcoming post won’t be that long, never fear — it’s not even as long as my brief history of comics — but it’s just not right. While you’re waiting, why not sit down, crack open a beer, and read a short story? I’ll be done any minute now. None