Chris Hughes

Twenty-eight-year-old Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has just bought The New Republic, and has assumed the dual role of the magazine’s publisher and editor-in-chief. Hughes plans to bring the ninety-eight-year-old magazine into the digital age, the New York Times reports, and wants to focus on “distributing the magazine’s long-form journalism through tablet computers like the iPad.”

Gawker chief Nick Denton has a new approach to the “problem” of nasty online comments, he announced today during a panel at South by Southwest. Gawker commenters are notoriously snarky, and reining in “hateful behavior” has long been a problem for the site. But the “core of the Gawker idea that we're building,” Denton said of the new and improved site, which is to be introduced in six weeks, “is that everyone owns the thread they start.”

At the National Book Critics Circle ceremony last Thursday night, author Daniel Mendelsohn presented New York Review of Books editor Robert Silvers with an Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. Pointing out Silvers’s intense devotion to the magazine, he recalled how the editor once tracked him down on a boat, in the middle of the ocean, to discuss a semicolon.

Jonathan Franzen, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Michael Chabon have just been named to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

If the previous entry just made you shudder, take note: Bret Easton Ellis is sick of all the Franzen haters. “The Corrections and Freedom are the two best novels that came out of my generation, so man-up and deal with it, guys.”

At htmlgiant, Blake Butler offers a breakdown of the typical Murakami novel.

In Bookforum, Christopher Sorrentino reviews Hari Kunzru's novel Gods without Men.

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