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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1924)

Material Description

The manuscript is a sturdy pocket-sized notebook, vertically bound in glossy laminated black snakeskin covers over boards. The insides of the boards and the front and back flyleaves are gray paper. The top and bottom of the notebook’s spine are torn and there is athick horizontal scratch through the center of the front cover recto.

Joyce used this type of notebook sporadically in 1924, 1925, 1933, 1935–1936, and then again 1939 (also see MSS VI.B.7, VI.B.43, VI.B.40, and VI.B.48).

Joyce used several pencils (and the shift in writing implement sometimes indicates achange in the source text).The legibility of his handwriting varies in this notebook more sothan in others; at times his hand shifts, even on the same page, from a smaller andclearer handwriting to his more typical and distinctly less legible note-taking hand. In general,the notes towards the front are more legible than those in the latter part of the notebook.

He used red, orange, green, and blue colored crayons to cross through noteshe had used in his manuscripts.


The manuscript consists of 116 leaves (232 pages) of light black lined graph paper in 10 stitched gatherings (the first 9 gatherings are composed of 24 pages and the 10th of only 16 pages). 229 pages are inscribed; 3 are blank: pp. [010], [164], and [165]. Joyce wrote on the back board recto, the front flyleaf recto and verso, and on the back flyleaf recto.


The manuscript measures 17.3 x 11.0 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook from the end of July through November 1924 in Brittany, Paris and London (FWNB: VI.B.14, pp. 18–19).

Other Markings

The front flyleaf recto is stamped "76-Bis" in blue ink, probably by the stationer. Traces of the pencil markings from the notes as well as of the color crayon from crossed through markings appear on some facing pages. There are lead smudges in the margins of some contiguous pages. There are stray ink marks on pp. [030], [031], [048], [049], [050], [051], [083], [117], and [179], as well as stray red crayon marks on pp. [001] and [002].

On the front flyleaf verso, Joyce wrote "" in red crayon.On the back cover recto, he wrote "c a | d <> ab" all in lead pencil. Raphael marked the back flyleaf recto with an "R" in black ink, presumably after she had transcribed the notebook.There are lead pencil markings on the verso of the front cover as well.


The manuscript was reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 32.121–239 and was published in The Finnegans Wake Notebooks at Buffalo: VI.B.14, edited by Vincent Deane, Daniel Ferrer and Geert Lernout (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2002).


Mme Raphael, Joyce’s amanuensis in Paris in early 1935, transcribed the notes Joyce did not cross through in this notebook as follows:

Primary Notebook Scribal Notebook
MS VI.B.14, pp. [001]–[019] MS VI.C.15, p. [263]–back flyleaf recto; continued on
MS VI.B.14, p. [019]–back cover recto MS VI.C.12, pp. [001]–[223]