So, could this be legit? Los Angeles Times book critic David L. Ulin says yes.
"I've never read "The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls": 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," he said in the online edition of the paper. "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."
Another affirmation comes from Salinger scholar Kenneth Slawenski, author of "J.D. Salinger: A Life," who talked with 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," Slawenski told BuzzFeed in an e-mail.
Princeton had it's own theories on how the stories could have made it to the public.
"The story is probably an unauthorized version transcribed longhand in our reading room," said Martin Mbugua, a Princeton spokesman. "It's also possible that it came from photocopies of the typescript probably made before the mid-1980s when we decided that we would no longer allow photo-duplication for any work by Salinger."
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