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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1937)

Material Description

The manuscript is a pocket-sized notebook, covered in a stiff turquoise colored board and bound with a dark blue cloth spine. The insides of the boards and the flyleaves are tan paper. Joyce’s notes are in lead pencil, except on pp. [029] and [079], where some of the notes are in black ink, and on pp. [176] and [180], where some of the notes are in purple ink. Some of the notes on p. [050] are in an unidentified hand in lead pencil.

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

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


The manuscript consists of 96 leaves (192 pages) of blue lined graph paper in 8 stitched gatherings composed of 24 pages each. 186 pages, as well as the front cover verso, back cover recto, front flyleaf recto, and both sides of the back flyleaf, are inscribed; the front flyleaf verso and 6 pages are blank: pp. [013], [085], [090], [163], [164], and [165]. Joyce wrote the notes vertically on the front cover verso, p. [100], and on the back flyleaf verso; he wrote all the notes on pp. [091], [110], [111], and [191] upside down.


The manuscript measures 21.0 x 13.0 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


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

Other Markings

There is an upside down notation in pencil on the back cover recto that reads: "3.10 | 15.595". There is an ink stain on the front cover verso and on the front flyleaf recto and a yellow crayon marking on p. [133].


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 39.279–376.


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