Three short stories by J.D. Salinger, which the author did not want to see published, have been leaked online. The Ocean Full Of Bowling Balls, Paula and Birthday had previously only been available to read at two American university libraries.
The Ocean Full Of Bowling Balls is said to have inspired elements of Salinger’s legendary The Catcher In The Rye. Until now the short story has only been available to read at the Princeton library, under supervision, in a special reading room.
Buzzfeed reports that a scanned copy of the stories was uploaded to a file-sharing website this week, and rapidly spread online. The collection, titled Three Stories, features a plain black cover, and also contains a letter from Salinger to his publisher Little, Brown and Company, discussing proof copies of his works.
David Ulin, a book critic with the Los Angeles Times, said that at least two of the stories in the collection were “the real deal”.
“I’ve never read The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls,” he wrote. “It’s part of a collection of Salinger material at the Princeton University Library and available only to scholars who are supervised as they read. I have read the other two stories, however, at the University of Texas’ Ransom Center, and the versions of them in Three Stories are the real deal.”
“The Ransom Center is relatively free with its manuscripts; visitors can even have photocopies made, although they are prohibited from circulating the work. It’s more difficult to imagine how a manuscript was copied from the Princeton Library, but in this digital age, I have little doubt that it could be done.”
Salinger had given instructions that his unpublished stories should not be seen for 50 years after he died.
Picture: San Diego Historical Society