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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1933)

Material Description

The notebook is bound in blue stiff board covers with rounded outside edges and a dark blue cloth tape spine, with gray paper pasted to the front cover verso and back cover recto, both flyleaves are also gray paper. The gatherings are split but still held together by the binding tape and the stitching; pp. [023]–[024], [075]–[078], and [089]–[094] are detached from the binding and are loose. This notebook is similar in kind to MSS VI.B.19, VI.B.13, VI.B.20, VI.B.18, VI.B.22, VI.B.35, 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’s notes are in lead pencil, except for some of the notes on pp. [007], [077], [109], [170], [183], and [187] that are in black ink, and those on the front flyleaf recto, p. [061], and the back flyleaf recto that are in blue ink. The entries on p. [186] in lead pencil are in an unidentified hand.

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


The manuscript consists of 94 leaves (188 pages) of blue horizontally lined paper in 8 stitched gatherings (the 1st through 7th gatherings are composed of 24 pages and the 8th gatherings of 20 pages). All the pages as well as the insides of both boards and all sides of the flyleaves are inscribed; none of the pages are blank.


The manuscript measures 21.1 x 12.8 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook from January through the summer of 1933 in Paris (TD 32).

Other Markings

Joyce wrote a note to Mme Raphael on the front flyleaf verso upside down in blue ink that reads: "Dear Mrs Raphael | Many thanks | for your kind offer | of assistance and I | hope it may | lead to a good result". She wrote her name and address on p. [188] in black ink.
There is an upside down stationer’s mark in lead pencil in the lower left corner of the back flyleaf verso, which is probably the price in Francs, that reads: "5,50".


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 37.106–202.


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.34, pp. [001]–[172] MS VI.C.1, pp. [209]–[280]; continued on
MS VI.B.34, pp. [172]–[185] MS VI.C.2, pp. [001]–[005]