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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1925)

Material Description

The manuscript is a pocket-sized notebook, covered in brown colored board and bound with a brown cloth tape spine; pp. [019] and [020] are detached from the binding. The front cover verso, back cover recto, the front flyleaf recto, and black flyleaf verso are white and blue designed paper. Joyce’s handwriting is in several kinds of lead pencil.

This notebook is similar in kind to MSS VI.B.13, 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 red and green colored crayons to cross through notes he had used in his manuscripts.


The manuscript consists of 114 leaves (228 pages) of blue lined graph paper in 10 stitched gatherings (the 1st, 3rd, and 10th gatherings are composed of 20 pages and the 2nd and 4th through 9th gatherings of 24 pages). 208 pages, as well as the front cover verso, back cover recto, both sides of the front flyleaf and the back flyleaf verso, are inscribed; 20 are blank: pp. [003], [021], [049]–[053], [059], [149], [165], [166], [167], [170], [171], [186], [187], [205], [211], [227], [228], and the back flyleaf recto.


The manuscript measures 16.7 x 10.7 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook from June to early July and then returned to it from September to late November 1925 in Paris; in between he used MS VI.B.8 (TD 27).

Other Markings

Joyce wrote "d" in lead pencil on the front cover verso; on the back flyleaf verso he wrote "abcd" in lead pencil and "" in red crayon. Mme Raphael marked the back cover recto with an "R" in black ink, presumably after she had transcribed the notebook.


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 33.207–323.


  Mme Raphael, Joyce’s amanuensis in Paris, transcribed the notes Joyce did not cross through in crayon from MS VI.B.19, front cover verso–back cover recto, in Buffalo MS VI.C.14, pp. [162]–[255].