Three stories written by the famously reclusive J.D. Salinger were leaked online yesterday, according to BuzzFeed.
The stories originally appeared online in an eBay auction - PDF scans of the originals, packaged as an illegally published collection titled Three Stories. The auction was then noticed and disseminated by Reddit user throwaway___3849.
The three stories include "Paula," "Birthday Boy," and "The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls." The latter is a precursor to Salinger's most lauded book, The Catcher in the Rye, and centers around the death of Holden Caulfield's brother, named Kenneth in the story, and Allie in the finished novel. It was originally slated to appear in Harper's Bazaar, but Salinger chose not to publish it. It is housed at the Princeton library, where a limited number of scholars were allowed access to it.
Two such scholars confirmed that the leaked stories were, in fact, written by Salinger. Kenneth Slawenski, author of Salinger: A Life, wrote in an e-mail to 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."
The ethics Slawenski refers to involve Salinger's desire to keep his stories unpublished. Because of his reclusion, much hype has surrounded his existing, unavailable works. This summer, a film and biography both titled Salinger announced that five stories by the author would be published posthumously between 2015 and 2020. Co-author and co-director Shane Salerno told USA Today that Salinger didn't want his stories published, "because he wasn't writing for applause or ego. He was writing for himself. He wasn't seeking out rewards."
This is especially true for stories such as "Paula," which is an unpolished, unfinished work that Salinger described as his "first and last" horror story.