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The life of a bum : typescript

Identifier: MSS 0099-F0307

Scope and Content Note

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

"The Life of a Bum" addresses themes of isolation and alcoholism. The story was published in Septuagenarian Stew: Stories and Poems in 1990.

The typescript bears extensive autographed revisions by Bukowski in pen, correcting word choice and editing for cohesion and concision. Editor 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.


  • Creation: 1985 March 18


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Access Restrictions

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,

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994)

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).


1 item (16 pages)


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


Purchase, 1990.

Related Materials in this Repository

This item forms part of MSS 0099 Miscellaneous Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

MSS 0099, F0758, Charles Bukowski poems and letter

MSS 0099, F0308, Action : typescript

Shelving Summary

Box 16, F0307: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

OCLC Number


Processed and encoded by Rachael Green, September 2013. Further encoded by George Apodaca, September 2015.

Finding aid for The Life of a Bum : typescript
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2013 September 24
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

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