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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1926)

Material Description

The manuscript is a narrow, oblong pocket-sized notebook, covered in light brown colored board and bound with a dark green cloth tape spine; six pages are detached from the binding: pp. [045], [046], and [113]–[116]. Sheets of blue lined graph paper are pasted to the insides of the boards.

Joyce’s notes are in several kinds of lead pencil as well as in black ink on pp. [006], [081], and [110] and in blue ink on pp. [017] and [099].

Although unusual in size, this notebook is similar in kind to MSS VI.B.19, VI.B.13, 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 blue, red, and green colored crayons to cross through notes he had used in his manuscripts.


The manuscript now consists of 58 leaves (116 pages) of blue lined graph paper in 5 stitched gatherings (the 1st, 2nd, and 4th gatherings are composed of 22 pages, the 3rd gathering is composed of 24 pages, and the 5th gatherings of 20 pages). 115 pages, as well as the front cover verso and back cover recto, are inscribed; only 1 page is blank: p. [109]. Joyce filled pp. [052] and [053] and some of pp. [047], [061], and [071] upside down.


The manuscript measures 21.7 x 8.4 cm. and is distinctly different in size from the other notebooks of this kind.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook from March to April 1926 in Paris (TD 28).

Other Markings

On the front cover verso, Joyce wrote "t 11" as well as "" in red crayon. He also wrote "tl 3" in green crayon on p. [112]. Mme Raphael marked the back cover recto with an "R" in black ink, presumably after she had transcribed the notebook.

There is an upside down stationer’s mark in lead pencil in the lower right corner of the back cover recto, which is probably the price in Francs, that reads: "1,90". There are black ink stains on pp. [001] and [051].


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 33.325–383.


Mme Raphael, Joyce’s amanuensis in Paris in late 1933, transcribed the notes Joyce did not cross through in this notebook as follows:

Primary Notebook Scribal Notebook
MS VI.B.20, front cover verso–p. [068] MS VI.C.3, pp. [243]–[280]; continued on
MS VI.B.20, p. [068]–back cover recto MS VI.C.4, pp. [001]–[027]

She then transcribed the notebook again in Paris in 1936–early 1937 as follows:

Primary Notebook Scribal Notebook
MS VI.B.20, front cover verso–p. [101] MS VI.C.11, p. [218]–back flyleaf recto; continued on
MS VI.B.20, p. [102]–back cover recto MS VI.C.15, pp. [253]–[262]