Photo: Lotte Jacobi, 1950.
For classic literature fans, the ultimate holiday gift just came early — and for free. Three previously unreleased short stories by J.D. Salinger leaked online this week, uploaded to sites like MediaFire and Imgur. Until now, these stories were only available through a few academic institutions for select literature scholars.
Entitled Three Stories, the 41-page album contains the complete clandestine works, "The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls," "Birthday Boy," and "Paula." Salinger, the reclusive author best known for the coming-of-age novel, The Catcher In The Rye, stopped publishing books after 1965, and any of his rare material is of extreme interest. But, how can we be sure that these stories are the real deal?
Several scholars have already confirmed the stories' veracity. "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," Kenneth Slawenski, a Salinger expert, told BuzzFeed. Princeton University's reading room was one of the few hallowed places where you could view the texts — under strict supervision. But, someone may have violated the policy.
"The story is probably an unauthorized version transcribed longhand in our reading room," said Martin Mbugua, a Princeton spokesman, in a statement to CNN. He also suggested it could be a photocopy dating back to the 1980s, before Princeton placed strict limits on the material. Others believe the leak relates to a September eBay listing, which auctioned off "three unpublished stories" by Salinger for $110. Whatever the case, we can imagine the fiercely private Salinger, who died in 2010, is probably not thrilled with his earthly readers right now. (CNN)