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Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1938)

Material Description

The manuscript is a pocket-sized notebook, covered in green colored board and bound with a green cloth tape spine.

Joyce’s notes are in the following colored inks, pencils, and colored crayons:

Writing Implement Manuscript Pages
Green ink: pp. [001]–[018], [020], [022]–[027],
[029]–[045], [047]–[088], and [100]
Red ink: pp. [001], [002], [046], and [047]
Blue ink: p. [081]
Lead pencil: pp. [089]–[097], [099], and [100]
Green crayon: p. [057(a)]

Joyce wrote the entries on pp. [001] and [002] in red ink upside down, over the notes he had already written in green ink on those pages.

This notebook is similar 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.42, and VI.B.30 that Joyce used periodically from June 1925 to the end of 1938.

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


The manuscript consists of 50 leaves (100 pages) of light black lined graph paper that were stitched together in a single gathering at the center vertical fold. 96 pages are inscribed; 4 are blank: pp. [019], [021], [028], and [098].


The manuscript measures 14.8 x 9.4 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook from early October through December 1938 in Paris (FWNB: VI.B.47, p. 12).

Other Markings

There are water and red ink stains on the front and back covers and there are green ink stains on pp. [039]–[045]. There is a stationer’s mark in the top right-hand corner of p. [001] in lead pencil that reads: "1,55" (presumably the notebook’s price in Francs).


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 40.241–291 and was published in The Finnegans Wake Notebooks at Buffalo: VI.B.47, edited by Vincent Deane, Daniel Ferrer and Geert Lernout (Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2004).


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