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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1927)

Material Description

The notebook is bound in brown stiff board covers with rounded outside edges and a maroon cloth tape spine, with pink paper pasted to the front cover verso and front flyleaf recto as well as to the back flyleaf verso and back cover recto. This notebook is similar in kind to MSS VI.B.19, VI.B.13, VI.B.20, 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.

The spine is cracked but the gatherings are still held together by the binding tape and the stitching. The notes are in Joyce’s hand (except on p. [180] and some of the notes on p. [181] that are in Nora Joyce’s hand) in several kinds of pencil, including lead. Also,

Joyce added some of the notes in black ink on pp. [002], [098], and [217], as well as in red ink on p. [060].

Joyce used red, blue, black, and green colored crayons to cross through notes he had used in his manuscripts.


The manuscript now consists of 143 leaves (286 pages) of blue horizontally lined paper in 12 stitched gatherings (the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, and 11th gatherings are composed of 24 pages, the 3rd and 7th gatherings of 20 pages, and the remaining gatherings of 22 pages). 12 leaves are detached (pp. [049]–[050], [071]–[072], [143]–[146], as well as [167]–[170]; the latter 2 leaves are a single sheet). The leaf between what are now pp. [284] and [285] is torn from the notebook and is presumably missing, though a portion of the leaf is still attached at the spine; it may have been blank. 269 pages, as well as the front flyleaf verso and back flyleaf recto, are inscribed; 17 are blank: pp. [125], [141], [144], [145], [151], [163], [173], [177], [195], [199], [225], [234], [235], [245], [275], [281], and [285]. Joyce wrote some of the notes vertically on various pages.


The manuscript measures 21.4 x 13.3 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook from March through July 1927 in Paris and in Holland (TD 28).

Other Markings

Joyce wrote "to here b" in red crayon (also underlined the notation in red crayon) on p. [047]. He marked the front flyleaf recto "t 12" in blue crayon. He also marked p. [001] "t 11" in red crayon and below it wrote "t 13" in green crayon. There is a stationer’s mark in pencil in the upper right corner of the front flyleaf recto that reads: "6 F". There are black ink stains on pp. [006] and [075].


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 33.059–204.


Mme Raphael, Joyce’s amanuensis in Paris in early 1935, transcribed the notes Joyce did not cross through in crayon from MS VI.B.18, p. [002]–back flyleaf recto in Buffalo manuscript VI.C.8, pp. [048]–[216].