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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1935–1936)

Material Description

The manuscript is a sturdy pocket-sized notebook, vertically bound in laminated black imitation snakeskin covers over boards.The insides of the covers and the front and back flyleaves are white paper. All of the pages have red colored edges. The covers are worn, especially at the edges. Joyce’s notes are in lead pencil throughout, except on pp. [205] (vertically) and [209] that are in purple crayon.

Some or all the notes are in unidentified hands on pp. [095], [119] (possibly Nora Joyce’s hand), [161], [162], [188], [215], [228], and the back cover recto in lead pencil, and in black ink on p. [129]. There are scribal clarifications of Joyce’s notes (in one or more unidentified hands, probably including Paul Léon’s) in lead pencil on pp. [042], [043], [050], [051], [053], [056], [059], [061]–[064], [067], [069], [070], [072], [073], [075], [076], [078], [079], [088], [089], [090], [100], [104], [105], [106], [131], [132], [139], [141], [142], [143], [146], [148], [152], [153], [155], [156], [159], [160], and [161], and in black ink on pp. [105], [123], and [125]; most if not all of these clarifications were made before Joyce started using the notes for his drafts.

He used this type of notebook sporadically in 1924, 1925, 1933, 1935–1936, and then again 1939 (also see MSS VI.B.14, VI.B.7, VI.B.43, and VI.B.48).

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


The manuscript now consists of 115 leaves (230 pages) of blue lined graph paper in 10 stitched gatherings (the 1st through 5th, 7th, and 8th gatherings are composed of 24 pages, the 6th and 10th of 20 pages, and the 9th of 22 pages); pp. [229] and [230] are detached, and at least 4 leaves were torn from the notebook and are missing: the leaves were after pp. [130], [140], [192], and [226] (they have not been counted in the pagination here or in the JJA). All of the pages, as well as the front cover verso, back cover recto, and all sides of the flyleaves are inscribed; none are blank. Some or all the notes and notations on pp. [099], [128], [129], [150], and [151] are upside down.


The manuscript measures 21.0 x 13.5 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook from February 1935 to early 1936 in Switzerland Paris (TD 33).

Other Markings

There is a stray black ink mark on p. [096]. There is a gray label pasted upside down in the bottom right corner of the back cover recto that reads: "Landolt-Arbenz & Co. | Bahnhofstr. 65 | == Zürich == ".


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 38.236–353.


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