Here's the way my week has been:
Monday: Good news! I've finished a draft of my Kalamazoo paper! Cut it down so it's a clean 10 pages.
Monday afternoon: Bad news: The panel has four people on it, rather than three. So I need to cut 2.5 more pages somehow.
Tuesday morning: Good news! I managed to cut another 2 pages. It's gonna run about 17 min rather than 15, but that'll have to be that. The argument is tight, and I have a great conclusion. I'm satisfied. Even pleased. It's not quite a mic-drop, but it's good.
Wednesday morning: Correspondence from a distant colleague about my paper reveals that an Eminent Scholar Overseas made this very topic the centerpiece of a series of hour-long lectures he presented back in 2013. Nothing published, but they made quite a splash, apparently. And his major conclusion (after having four hours to develop it, rather than my measly 15 minutes) was apparently the same as what I struggled my way to over the past semester and was going to present as my Big Reveal in three weeks.
Is it too late to fake my own death?