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;Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1937)

Material Description

The manuscript is a pocket-sized notebook, covered in a stiff light brown colored board and is bound with a black cloth tape spine. The front cover verso, back cover recto, and both flyleaves are plain white paper.

Joyce’s notes are in lead pencil, except on the front flyleaf recto, pp. [170], [171], and [178]–[182], where some or all of the notes are in black ink. Also, some or all of the notes are in blue ink on the front cover verso and on pp. [050], [054] [063], [097], [125], [126], [131], and [180], and some of the notes on the back cover recto are in two shades of blue pencil. Vincent Deane has noted that the Russian history list on p. [105] is in Paul Léon’s hand. The addresses in lead pencil on the back flyleaf verso are in Nora Joyce’s hand.

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.34, VI.B.37, VI.B.44, VI.B.47, and VI.B.30 that Joyce used periodically from June 1925 to the end of 1938.

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


The manuscript consists of 96 leaves (192 pages) of light black lined graph paper in 8 stitched gatherings of 24 pages each. 178 pages, as well as the front cover verso, back cover recto, and all the flyleaves, are inscribed; 14 are blank: pp. [038], [039], [055], [087]–[093], [110], [123], [133], and [135]. Joyce wrote the notes on the front cover verso, front flyleaf recto, and pp. [022] and [023] vertically; he wrote some of the notes on p. [080] upside down. He wrote a further set of notes over the ones he had already written on pp. [048], [049], and [050] in lead pencil.


The manuscript measures 20.8 x 13.2 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook from late August to early December 1937 in Zurich and Paris (TD 34).

Other Markings

There is an upside down stationer’s mark in lead pencil on the back flyleaf verso that reads: "4.50". There is a mark on p. [102] in yellow crayon.


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 39.109–204.


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