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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1930)

Material Description

The notebook is a black cloth covered, hard board accounting ledger book, predominantly in Joyce’s hand, although there are at least four scribal hands as well. They have been designated as hands "A"–"D" in this manuscript: "A" is probably Helen Fleischman, "B" is Lucia Joyce, "C" is Paul Léon, and "D" is unidentified (see the chart below). The notes are all in soft lead pencil, except on the front cover verso and p. [119(a)–(c)] where the entries are in orange crayon. The scribal clarifications of Joyce’s barely legible entries are in pencil, except on pp. [067] and [175]–[180] where they are in black ink. The notebook 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.21, VI.B.26, VI.B.4, VI.B.24, 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). The black cloth spine is detached.

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


The manuscript consists of 112 leaves (224 pages) of blue horizontal and blue and red vertical lined white wove paper in 10 stitched gatherings (the 1st and 10th are composed of 16 pages and the 2nd through 9th gatherings of 24 pages); none of the pages are detached. 219 pages, as well as the front cover verso, both sides of the front flyleaf, the back flyleaf verso, and back board recto, are inscribed; 5 are blank pp. [086], [087], [222], [223], and [224].


The manuscript measures 20.4 x 12.9 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook from early February to mid March 1930 in Paris (FWNB: VI.B.29, p. 10).

Other Markings

Joyce wrote "Nice" on the front cover verso in orange crayon, probably in the summer of 1932. There are stray ink markings on p. [017] and stray red crayon marking on p. [122].


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 36.001–115 and was published in The Finnegans Wake Notebooks at Buffalo: VI.B.29, edited by Vincent Deane, Daniel Ferrer and Geert Lernout (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2001).


  Joyce took the notes on pp. [126(e)–(i)] and [127(b) and (c)] from Buffalo MS IX.A.2 (see the description of the manuscript there for further information). Mme Raphael, Joyce’s amanuensis in Paris in early 1935, transcribed the notes Joyce did not cross through in crayon from MS VI.B.29, from the front flyleaf recto to p. [221], in Buffalo MS VI.C.9, pp. [020]–[124].

Handwritings in MS VI.B.29 (See the Finnegans Wake Notebook at Buffalo edition for further information):

Notebook Page Hand Sources Included
Front flyleaf recto–p. [015]  Joyce VI.B.24 and VI.B.29
EB: Stockholm
EB: Tokyo
EB: St. Petersburg
EB: Delhi
pp. [016]–[018] "A" Index on Hearing Disorders
pp. [019]–[042(d)] Joyce Draft Material
EB: Bern
EB: Belgrade
EB: Buenos Aires
EB: Edinburgh
EB: Ottawa
EB: Mexico City
EB: Kabul
EB: Melbourne
pp. [042(e)]–[044(a)] "A" Scandinavian Kingdom
p. [044(b) and (c)] Joyce MS VI.B.24
pp. [044(d)]–[051(a)] "A" Scandinavian Kingdom
pp. [051(b)]–[057] "B" EB: Wellington
EB: Washington, D.C.
pp. [058]–[065(a)] "A" History of Galway
Dublin Fragments
pp. [065(b)]–[067(h)] "C" Draft Material
EB: Tehran
EB: Rangoon
pp. [067(i)]–[076] "A" Life in Old Dublin
Charter of Henry II
p. [077(a)] Joyce Draft Material
pp. [077(b)]–[082(c)] "C" EB: Dublin
EB: Rio de Janeiro
pp. [082(d)]–[100] "A" Dublin Historical
Neighborhood of Dublin
pp. [101]–[105(a)] Joyce VI.B.29 and VI.B.24
pp. [105(b)]–[106] "C" EB: Paris
p. [107(a)–(e)] Joyce [VI.B.24]
pp. [107(f)]–[108(f)] "C" EB: Paris
pp. [108(g)]–[118] "A" Story of Dublin
North Dublin
p. [119(a)and (b)] Joyce  
pp. [119(c)]–[131(d)] ‘C’ EB: London
EB: Bristol
IX.A.2: History of Hitchin
p. [131(e) and (f)] Joyce Draft Material
pp. [131(e) and (g)]–[133] "B" Draft Material
pp. [134]–[135(u)] Joyce & "C" Dublin Districts
p. [135(v)] "B"  
pp. [136]–[137(a)] Joyce Draft Material
p. [137(b)–(l)] "C" Poverty
p. [138(a)] Joyce  
pp. [138(b)]–[143] "C" Poverty
pp. [144] and [145] Joyce & "C" Draft Material
pp. [146]–[153] "C" Poverty
pp. [154] and [155] Joyce Draft Material
pp. [156]–[161(b)] "A" Thom’s Directory
pp. [161(c)]–[169] "C" Poverty
pp. [170]–[174] "B" Poverty
pp. [175]–[180(c)] Joyce & "C" Draft Material
The Bible
pp. [180(d)]–[181] "C"  
p. [182(a), (b) and (e)] Joyce  
pp. [182 (c), (d)and (f)]–[184]  "C" The Bible
pp. [185]–[196] Joyce & "C" History of New York
p. [197(a)] "D" History of New York
pp. [197(b)]–[201(a)] Joyce History of New York
pp. [201(b)]–[203] "C" History of New York
pp. [204]–[209] "A" Confusion of Tongues
pp. [210]–[221] Joyce History of New York
Thom’s Directory
Confusion of Tongues