A PDF file featuring scanned pages from an unauthorised collection of stories found its way on to the web
Three works from the late author J.D. Salinger, stories that have never been published before, managed to find their way on to the world wide web, after an unofficial collection of his unpublished work, simply titled Three Stories, was sold through eBay. The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls, Birthday Boy and Paula each feature in the unofficial title, with the PDF looking as though it was scanned from the unofficial, eBay-sold book, finding its way online.
Three Stories was sold through eBay under the guise of a genuine Salinger title, just a genuinely rare one, and came complete with a barcode and ISBN number, however both of these codes lead to nowhere and the book itself is made independently by someone with access to Salinger's unpublished works. It wasn't until the book was discussed on Reddit that people began suspecting that three unpublished works existed and were online and available in book form, in the UK.
J.D. Salinger on the cover of TIME 1961. From SALINGER coming to theaters nationwide SEPT 6. Bio from S&S out Sept 3 pic.twitter.com/uUntMncyVX— SALINGER FILM 2013 (@SecretSalinger) August 11, 2013
Three Stories was sold by an eBayer based in Brentford, London, with the seller also listing a full address, which could lead us to the source of the leak. Whoever bought the item - for £67.50 (approx. $110) - at auction then proceded to scan the pages and upload the stories to members-only torrent site what.CD.
Salinger was an immensely private man and strived to avoid the public spotlight despite the success of his works for his entire career as a novelist. Following his death in January 2010, the author bequeathed that he family ensure that his many unpublished works be distributed to the world in five and then fifty years after his death. His family will begin to published five new stories in 2015, but in accordance with his will, the family will hold off from releasing any other works until 2051 at the earliest. Many of these are sought-after titles for a number of reasons, in particular The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls, which is said to be a continuation of his most famous work, The Catcher in the Rye.
As for the authenticity of the stories, Salinger expert Kenneth Slawenski confirmed the leaks as genuine, telling Buzzfeed, "While I do quibble with the ethics (or lack of ethics) in posting the Salinger stories, they look to be true transcripts of the originals and match my own copies."
So why would someone so beloved and admired want to shield his work from the world for so long, knowing very well that there are people out there vying to read what came out of Salinger's pen? To quote Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye, "I swear to God, if I were a piano player or an actor or something and all those dopes thought I was terrific, I'd hate it. I wouldn't even want them to clap for me. People always clap for the wrong things. If I were a piano player, I'd play it in the goddam closet."