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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1928)

Material Description

The manuscript is a pocket-sized notebook, covered in light brown colored board covers and bound with a red cloth tape spine; pp. [021] and [022] are detached from the binding. The front cover verso, back cover recto, and both flyleaves are light gray paper. Joyce’s notes are in lead pencil and in black ink on pp. [021], [032], [043], [097], [137], [148], [160], [161], and [162]. The Dutch vocabulary notes in lead pencil on pp. [179]–[187] are not in Joyce’s hand and the list of "peace words" on pp. [150] and [151] is in yet another hand in black ink.

This notebook is similar in kind to MSS VI.B.19, VI.B.13, VI.B.20, VI.B.18, 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 green colored crayons to cross through the notes he had used in his manuscripts.


The manuscript now consists of 94 leaves (188 pages) of light black lined graph paper in 8 stitched gatherings (the 2nd through 7th gatherings are composed of 24 pages, the 8th of 22 pages, and the 1st of 20 pages, and one loose sheet). 166 pages, as well as the insides of the covers and both sides of the back flyleaf, are inscribed; 22 page are blank: pp. [001], [002], [009], [013], [017], [026], [027], [047], [069], [075], [077], [084], [085], [107], [111], [118], [119], [127], [135], [145], [149], and [163].


The manuscript measures 18.9 x 11.5 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook from May to late June 1928 in the South of France and in Paris (TD 29).

Other Markings

There is an upside down stationer’s mark in lead pencil on the front flyleaf recto that reads: "4.50". 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 34.155–251.


  Mme Raphael, Joyce’s amanuensis in Paris, transcribed the notes Joyce did not cross through in crayon from MS VI.B.22, p. [003]–back cover recto in Buffalo MS VI.C.13, pp. [156]–[264].