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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1925–1926)

Material Description

The manuscript is a pocket-sized notebook, covered in brown colored board and bound with a red cloth tape spine. The front cover verso, back cover recto and both flyleaves are plain white paper. Joyce’s notes are in several kinds of lead pencil, except on the front flyleaf recto and pp. [047], where some of the notes are in black ink. Joyce filled pp. [106] and [107] upside down.
This notebook is similar in kind to MSS VI.B.19, VI.B.20, VI.B.18, VI.B.22, VI.B.35, VI.B.34, VI.B.37, VI.B.44, VI.B.42, VI.B.47, and VI.B.30 that Joyce used periodically from June 1925 to the end of 1938.
Joyce used green, red, and blue colored crayons to cross through notes he had used in his manuscripts.


The manuscript consists of 116 leaves (232 pages) of light black lined graph paper in 10 stitched gatherings (the 1st and 10th gatherings are composed of 20 pages and the 2nd through 9th gatherings of 24 pages). 203 pages, as well as the front cover verso, back cover recto, and all the flyleaves are inscribed; 29 are blank: pp. [017], [021], [029], [044], [059], [061], [063], [067], [072], [073], [075], [077], [079], [081], [083], [085], [087], [089], [091], [094], [095], [097], [103], [121], [137], [149], [181], [197], and [203].


The manuscript measures 16.8 x 10.6 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook from December 1925 to early March 1926 in Paris (TD 28).

Other Markings

On the front cover verso, Joyce wrote "t12" in blue crayon and at a different time "t13" in green crayon on the back cover recto. There is an upside down stamped stationer’s mark on the back cover recto the label in purple ink: "864". Mme Raphael marked the back cover recto with an "R" in black ink, presumably after she had transcribed the notebook. There are black ink stains on pp. [074], [075], [086], and [087].


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 32.001–119.


Mme Raphael, Joyce’s amanuensis in Paris in 1936 to early 1937, transcribed the notes Joyce did not cross through in this notebook as follows:

Primary Notebook Scribal Notebook
MS VI.B.13, front cover verso–p. [188] MS VI.C.12, p. [224]–back flyleaf recto; continued on
MS VI.B.13, p. [188]–back cover recto MS VI.C.13, pp. [001]–[026]