University of Delaware Library

Bukowski, Charles.

"Action": short story typescript

1985 April 22

Descriptive Summary

Identification: MSS 099, F308

Creator: Bukowski, Charles.

Title: "Action": short story typescript

Inclusive Dates: 1985 April 22

Extent: 1 item (14 p.)

Abstract: This typescript of 20th-century American poet and writer Charles Bukowski's (1920-1994) short story "Action" bears revisions in Bukowski's hand as well as minor editor's marks.

Language: Materials entirely in English.


MSS 099, F308, Bukowski, Charles, "Action": short story typescript, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Shelving Summary

Box 16, F308: Shelved in SPEC MSS 099 manuscript boxes.


Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL:


Purchase, 1990.


Processed and encoded by Rachael Green, September 2013.

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical Note

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) was a 20th-century American poet and author known for his overtly masculine themes of drinking, gambling, and womanizing, and his concise, blunt writing style that carried through several novels, short story collections, and poetry collections.

Bukowski was born in Germany and immigrated to Los Angeles with his family in 1922. In 1939, Bukowski began attending Los Angeles City College, but dropped out and moved to New York to be a writer. After having little success, Bukowski gave up his dream and embarked on a ten-year, nearly fatal alcohol binge. After being hospitalized for an ulcer, Bukowski cut back on drinking and took up writing again. His first collection of poetry, Flower, Fist and Bestial Wall, was published in 1960.

Bukowski also wrote a weekly column for the Los Angeles alternative newspaper Open City and later for the Los Angeles Free Press in which he combined journalism, fiction, and philosophy in a non-traditional style. During the 1970s Bukowski began writing semi-autobiographical novels featuring the first-person narrator Henry Chinaski. Over the course of his career, Bukowski published many collections of poetry and short stories and he earned a National Endowment for the Arts Grant (1974), a Loujon Press Award, a Silver Reel Award, and the San Francisco Festival of the Arts Prize for documentary film.


"Charles Bukowski." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Biography Resource Center). (accessed September 23, 2013).

"Charles Bukowski." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Literature Resource Center). (accessed September 23, 2013).

Scope and Content Note

This typescript of 20th-century American poet and writer Charles Bukowski's (1920-1994) short story "Action" bears revisions in Bukowski's hand as well as minor editor's marks.

"Action" follows the character Henry Baroyan as he copes with gambling addiction and his status as a washed-up writer. The story mentions American Beat poets and authors Allen Ginsburg (1926-1997), and William S. Burroughs (1914-1997), American expatriate author and composer Paul Bowles (1910-1999), and French author and social activist Jean Genet (1910-1986), positioning Baroyan in this line of Beat and postmodern writers. "Action" was published in Septuagenarian Stew: Stories and Poems in 1990.

The typescript bears autographed revisions by Bukowski in pen, correcting word choice and editing for cohesion and concision. Editor's marks are in red and include minor formatting changes. Signed and dated with Bukowski's doodle of a man smoking and a bottle, possibly a self-portrait.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names
Bukowski, Charles.
Topical Terms
Authors, American--20th century--Fiction.
Form/Genre Terms
Short Stories.

Related Materials in this Repository

This item forms part of MSS 099 Miscellaneous Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

MSS 099, F758, Charles Bukowski poems and letter

MSS 099, F307, "Life of a Bum": short story typescript

Detailed Contents List

"Action": short story typescript, 1985 April 22   [Box 16 F308]

1 item (14 p.)