Why even read literary fiction? This question is not as stupid as it seems at first glance. Modern fiction mostly exists to provide mindless entertainment as part of mass culture The so-called «mass culture». Of course, its modern iteration is not created by the masses, but for the masses, and the ideas and cravings expressed in it are sometimes very far from those of the common people. on one side, and serve as an outlet for the murky stream of consciousness from those who call themselves «intellectuals», as many literary prize winners do. So someone who is critical of both of these types of literary product can be quite justified in dismissing literary fiction entirely and concentrating on reading professional and scientific literature only.
But in our humble opinion, such a decision would be unwise. Literary fiction is quite capable of performing several useful functions: it can demonstrate various ideas, expose hidden facets of society, outline the worldview and lifestyle of different people from different corners of the world or different time periods. And it also does so in an emotionally engaging fashion, which is often inaccessible for scientific or professional literature that has to operate withing the boundaries of dry facts If a scientific or professional text tries to appeal to the emotions of the reader, it is a bad scientific or professional text, by definition..
Genuinely valuable literary fiction strives not only to express the ideas of its author or show various facets of everyday existence, but also to foster Humanity in people. Our selection of literary fictions is mostly based on this very principle. It includes books by very different authors from various countries, whose understanding of humanism, progress and the common good, in our opinion, is close to ours or is the same as ours, and whose works can confer this understanding onto the reader the best. It also includes those books that attracted our attention due to the themes or issues they cover or touch upon.