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VI.C.17: "Work in Progress"/Finnegans Wake Scribal Notebook (1936–1937)

Material Description

The manuscript has floral-designed maroon covers over boards, with a black tape spine, which is worn but intact, and the edges of all the leaves are speckled blue-and-white. There are blue-and-white marbled design papers pasted to the front cover verso and back cover recto; the front flyleaf verso and back flyleaf recto are plain white, unlined paper. The notes are in the hand of Joyce’s amanuensis, Mme France Raphael in black ink. Joyce used red colored crayons to cross through the notes he had used in his manuscripts.


The manuscript consists of 140 leaves (280 pages) of blue horizontally ruled paper, 12 stitched gatherings (the 1st and 12th gatherings are composed of 20 pages and the 2nd through 11th gatherings are composed of 24 pages); none of the pages are detached. 237 pages are inscribed; 43are blank (pp. [238]–[280]).


The manuscript measures 18.8 x 14.5 cm.


The notebook contains transcriptions of Joyce’s notes in the following primary notebooks:

Scribal Notebook Primary Notebook JJA
MS VI.C.17, pp. [001]–[063] MS VI.B.35, pp. [040]–[144] 43.225–240
MS VI.C.17, pp. [064]–[150] MS VI.B.27, front flyleaf verso–back flyleaf recto 43.240–262
MS VI.C.17, pp. [151]–[237] MS VI.B.37, back flyleaf verso–front cover verso
(see Notes below)
MS VI.C.17, pp. [238]–[280] Blank See 43.284


The pages are not numbered.


Mme Raphael prepared the transcriptions in this notebook in 1936 to early 1937 in Paris (TD 34), after MS VI.C.14, and Joyce used the notebook in 1936 and 1937.

Other Markings

The notebook was marked "17" in blue crayon on the front flyleaf verso, probably by Joyce. There is a stamped purple stationer’s mark on the front flyleaf verso and upside down on the back flyleaf recto that reads: "38".


The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile in JJA 43.224–284.


MmeRaphael transcribed MS VI.B.37 on MS VI.C.17, pp. [151]–[237], in an inverse sequence; that is, from the primary notebook’s back flyleaf verso to the front cover verso, backwards, page by page (verso–recto), from the top to bottom of each of the pages.