Although the literary representative of J. D. Salinger’s estate is fighting to have a collection of out-of-print short stories by the author taken off the Internet, we’ve been able to find the files online once more.
Back in September, we published an article about a PDF hosted by FriendFeed, a social media aggregator, which contained 22 of Salinger’s stories that were previously published but had since become unavailable. Considering that many of the pieces had not been in circulation for more than half a century, most Salinger fans greeted the discovery with enthusiasm.
But the reception was not all welcoming. The dickish tweet above is from an associate producer of the recent documentary Salinger. Apparently spreading rumors that a man had one testicle, as the film’s accompanying biography does, is a more fitting tribute than ensuring his fans have access to his work. What a phony.
Hollywood jerkoffs aside, The Airship also received an email from Harold Ober Associates, Incorporated, a pack of literary agents who represent the estates of Salinger, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes and other great dead authors. The agency’s president, Phyllis Westberg, informed us that they had not “authorized the publication of these stories” and accused us of “knowingly providing access to stolen property.”
So despite it being 49 to 74 years since the publication of these stories, despite most having never been reprinted since and despite Salinger being beyond successful at the time of his death, Harold Ober Associates, Incorporated, will not allow fans to read these stories — not, at least, until they have figured out the best way to make a buck off it.
They demanded that we remove the link, and we did — replacing the direct link to FriendFeed with a very convenient one to Let Me Google That for You. And that was that ... until about two months ago when commenters on our original blog post mentioned that the PDF was no longer available. Although it’s unknown whether Salinger’s literary representatives asked FriendFeed to take down the file (our emails to FriendFeed have thus far gone unanswered), we suspect that is the case.
Regardless, Salinger’s out-of-print stories continue to live online. Through some intrepid Googling, we’ve found a raw text version of the PDF on Pastebin in two parts: here and here. Undoubtedly, Salinger’s estate will be in touch with Pastebin shortly to have them take down the stories, and Pastebin will likely comply. But the Internet is a hydra: one lost battle only inspires two new fronts.