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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1932)

Material Description

The notebook is bound in turquoise stiff board covers with rounded outside edges and a maroon cloth tape spine, with plain white paper pasted to the front cover verso and back cover recto, both flyleaves are also plain white paper. The gatherings are split but still held together by the stitching; the front flyleaf is detached from the binding and is 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.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’s notes are in lead pencil, except for some of the notes on pp. [105], [108], [109], and [116] that are in black ink.

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


The manuscript now consists of 73 leaves (146 pages) of blue horizontally and red and blue vertically lined paper in 6 stitched gatherings (the 1st and 5th gatherings are composed of 24 pages, the 2nd and 3rd of 28 pages, the 4th of 20 pages, and the 6th of 22 pages). At least 2 leaves have been torn vertically from the notebook (pp. [127]–[128] and [145]–[146], which are still attached to the notebook, and 2 leaves were detached from what are now pp. [080]–[081] and are missing, fragments of which remain; they probably had not been used for note taking. 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. Joyce wrote some of the notes on pp. [069] and [119] upside down.


The manuscript measures 20.8 x 13.2 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook in early and late 1932 in Paris (TD 31).

Other Markings

There is an upside down stationer’s stamp in black on the back cover verso that reads: "Adopted by OXFORD and CAMBRIDGE Univ." Mme Raphael marked the back board 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 37.204–279.


Mme Raphael, Joyce’s amanuensis in Paris in 1936 and early 1937, transcribed the notes Joyce did not cross through in this notebook as follows:

Primary Notebook Scribal Notebook
MS VI.B.35, front flyleaf recto–p. [039] MS VI.C.14, p. [260]–back flyleaf recto; continued on
MS VI.B.35, pp. [040]–[144] MS VI.C.17, pp. [001]–[063]

The two pages designated as Buffalo MS VI.49.b (recto-verso) are a continuation of the notes in this notebook and Buffalo MS VI.49.a was compiled contemporaneously with this notebook (TD 31).