Skip to Content


Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Notebook (1925)

Material Description

The manuscript is a notebook with black cloth covers over boards, which are chipped in places; the front and back flyleaves are plain, light gray paper. Joyce’s notes are in several kinds of lead and grease pencils, but in black ink on pp. [007], [123], and [216]. It was probably Joyce who rewrote some of the notes on pp. [221]–[232] and [234]–[240] in black crayon or grease pencil over ones he had already written in lead pencil.

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


The manuscript consists of 120 leaves (240 pages) of blue lined graph paper in 10 stitched gatherings of 24 pages each. 239 pages, as well as both sides of the flyleaves and the front cover recto and back cover verso are inscribed, and only 1 page is blank: p. [163]. Several of the gatherings are loose from the binding but not detached from the stitching; only the 12th leaf (pp. [023]–[024]) is detached from the notebook. Joyce wrote the calculations on the front flyleaf verso and some of the notes on p. [147] upside down.


The manuscript measures 16.8 x 10.6 cm.


The pages are not numbered.


Joyce compiled this notebook in late July to September 1925 in Northern and Western France (TD 27).

Other Markings

On the front cover verso in lead pencil Joyce wrote: "Priere de | rendre a | James Joyce | 12 rue de l’Odéon | Paris", which is the address of Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare and Company bookshop. He drew arrows and asterisks in red and blue crayon on pp. [218] and [219]. Joyce tagged the front flyleaf recto "t12" in blue crayon and the back flyleaf verso "t 13" in green crayon. On the back flyleaf recto, Joyce wrote "t 14" in blue crayon and, on the back flyleaf verso, he wrote "d" in lead pencil and "" in red crayon.

Mme Raphael marked the back flyleaf recto with an "R" in black ink, presumably after she had transcribed the notebook.


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 30.293–415.


Mme France Raphael, Joyce’s amanuensis in Paris in early 1935, transcribed the notes Joyce did not cross through in this notebook as follows:

Primary Notebook Scribal Notebook
MS VI.B.8, pp. [001]–[240] MS VI.C.7, pp. [020]–[135]

Raphael then transcribed the notebook again in Paris in 1936–early 1937 as follows:

Primary Notebook Scribal Notebook
MS VI.B.8, p. [001]–back flyleaf verso MS VI.C.13, pp. [027]–[155]

The JJA pagination is inaccurate as follows:

JJA Pagination Notebook Pagination
p. "202" MS VI.B.8, p. [203]
p. "203" MS VI.B.8, p. [204]
p. "204" MS VI.B.8, p. [205]
p. "205" MS VI.B.8, p. [206]
p. "206" MS VI.B.8, p. [202]

Furthermore, the notes on MS VI.B.8, pp. [202]–[204] are not upside down as stated in the JJA.