Skip to Content


Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1928)

Material Description

The notebook is a black cloth covered, hard board accounting ledger book. The spine is cracked and detached from the notebook, but is still extant; the notebook is held together by the stitching. It is similar in kind to a common type of notebook Joyce used consistently but not exclusively from 1928 to 1938 (see also MSS VI.B.26, VI.B.4, VI.B.24, VI.B.29, VI.B.28, VI.B.32, VI.B.33, VI.B.31, VI.B.36, VI.B.38, and VI.B.41/VI.C.18).

Joyce’s notes are in lead pencil, except for some of the notes on pp. [085], [094], and [264] that are in black ink. Some of the notes on pp. [068], [077], [078], and [174] are not in Joyce’s hand.

The insides of the boards, the outer sides of the front and back flyleaves are light gray paper, whereas the verso of the front flyleaf and the recto of the back flyleaf are white paper.

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


The manuscript consists of 150 leaves (300 pages) of blue horizontal and red and blue vertical lined white wove paper in 12 stitched gatherings (the 1st and 12th gatherings are composed of 20 pages, the 2nd through 6th gatherings of 28 pages, and the 7th through 11th gatherings of 24 pages); none of the pages are detached. 284 pages, as well as the front cover verso, back cover recto, and all sides of the flyleaves, are inscribed; 16 are blank: pp. [005], [009], [045], [059], [073], [089], [127], [139], [209], [227], [262], [263], [285], [295], [296], and [297]. Joyce filled pp. [198], [199], [216], and [217] vertically.


The manuscript measures 20.7 x 13.4 cm.


The pages are stamped "1"–"300" in black ink, in the upper left corner on even-numbered pages and in the upper right corner on odd-numbered pages.


Joyce compiled this notebook from January to April 1928 in Paris (TD 29).

Other Markings

Vertically on the front cover verso, Joyce wrote "Z’ch 33" in red and "επιτριτος" in blue crayons. He also wrote "t 12" in blue, "t 13" in green, and "t 14 in blue crayons on the front flyleaf recto. On the front flyleaf verso, he wrote "Nice" vertically in red crayon.

The front cover verso is stamped with stationer’s mark in purple ink: "3913" (MSS VI.B.24 and VI.B.41/VI.C.18 are similarly marked).


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 34.001–153.


  Mme FranceRaphael, Joyce’s amanuensis, did not transcribe this notebook.