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VI.B.41 [See also MS VI.C.18]: "Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1938)

Material Description

The manuscript is an accounting ledger with black cloth covers over boards. The cover sides of front and back flyleaves and the inside boards are light gray paper and the front flyleaf verso and back flyleaf recto are plain white, unlined paper. The fore-edges of the leaves are speckled red.

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.29, VI.B.28, VI.B.32, VI.B.33, VI.B.31, VI.B.36, and VI.B.38).

Note that Mme Raphael’s transcription of MS VI.B.38, catalogued as MS VI.C.18, constitutes pp. [001]–[094] and the upper portion of p. [095] of this notebook.

All the notes in this part of the notebook are in Joyce’s hand as follows:

Writing Implement Manuscript Pages
Green ink: Front cover verso, front flyleaf recto, pp. [095]–[162], [186], [203]–[261], [269]–[275], [284], [287], [288], [289], [294], [300], back flyleaf recto and verso, and back cover recto
Lead pencil: Front cover verso, front flyleaf verso, pp. [113], [162]–[194], [198]–[203], [247], [261]–[268], [275]–[287], and [290]–[298]
Black ink: [186], [187], [191], [195]–[198], [207], [223], [244], [247], [296], and [297]
Green crayon: [262]

Joyce wrote the notes on p. [157] upside down. Some of the notes on p. [191] in black ink are in an unknown hand. The notes on pp. [001]–[095] are in the hand of Joyce’s amanuensis, Mme France Raphael in black ink.

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


The manuscript consists of 150 leaves (300 pages) of blue horizontal and blue and red vertical lined white wove paper in 12 stitched gatherings (the 1st and 12th gatherings are composed of 20 pages, the 2nd through 6th gatherings composed of 28 pages, and the 7th through 11th gatherings of 24 pages); none of the pages are detached. 299 pages are inscribed and only1 is blank (p. [299]).


The manuscript measures 20.9 x 13.3 cm.


The pages are stamped "1"–"300" in black ink in the upper left corner on even-numbered pages and in the upper right corner on odd-numbered pages.


Joyce compiled this notebook from late August to mid October 1938 in Lausanne and Paris (TD 35).

Other Markings

On the back flyleaf recto, the notebook was marked "18" in blue crayon, probably by Joyce, and Joyce wrote "Oct . 37" in blue ink. Joyce wrote several addresses and phone numbers on the front board verso, front flyleaf recto, and on the back board recto. There are blue crayon markings on pp. [253] and [256] and there is a stamped black stationer’s mark on the front board verso in black ink that reads: "3913" (MSS VI.B.21 and VI.B.24 are similarly marked).


This portion of the manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 39.001–107 and pp. [001]–[095] of this notebook have been reproduced as MS VI.C.18 in JJA 43.361–384.