The periodical Sarajevo Notebook is the product of an initiative from a group of prominent writers and intellectuals from former Yugoslavia. Its basic purpose and ambition is to assist in rebuilding communication between the kindred cultures and literatures of the region following the war, which almost completely broke off all links between the newly-emerged states. It should, however, be made clear that the intention of the intellectuals who became seized by this idea was not to create an intellectual platform for the political reconstitution of Yugoslavia; fully accepting the reality of the existence of new states, and without divesting themselves of the sentiment of national affiliation, the members of the editorial team and associates of Sarajevo Notebook are attempting so to act as to create the conditions for normal communication between cultures and individuals, and to promote the idea and practice of collaboration and tolerance in the region.
Sarajevo Notebook deals above all with the affirmative aspects of communication between Yugoslav cultures. The magazine presents the literary works of the best writers of the region, both those who have already made their names and younger writers who are known in their local environments but about whom, as a result of the barriers set up during the war and still present today, their neighbouring cultures know very little.
In the essay section, work from the field of literature and the associated humanities will regularly find a place, but the most interesting intellectual trends and ideas beyond the domain of narrow literary interests will also be presented. A comprehensive issue-related section will cover certain topical and particularly significant phenomena, and there are also sections related to issues of the Balkans and Balkan identities, the responsibility of writers for the war, and so on.
In each issue of the magazine, a long essay-interview will present one top-class writer, and there will also be a regular Diary column in which prominent authors will comment on current events.
The column Passport will publish a selection of contemporary poetry from countries beyond the Yugoslav cultural circle. The magazine will also provide translations of foreign writers: in addition to articles analysing our cultural and political problems, literary manuscripts will also be published, particularly those that are relevant to our contemporary situation.
The linguistic policy of the magazine takes for granted that the authors' contributions will be published in their original language in the case of Bosnian, Montenegrin, Croatian, and Serbian, while Macedonian and Slovenian will be published in translation into one of these four languages in the case of prose, and in the original and in translation in the case of poetry.
The editorial team of Sarajevo Notebook will endeavour to ensure that the magazine is distributed in all the countries of the former Yugoslavia, as well as on the Internet.
The intention and hope of the members of the editorial team is that their activities will make a significant contribution to endeavours to have literature become a field of collaboration, mutuality, and productive interpenetration following a period when it was dominated by the spirit of destructive, antagonistic, nationalist ideologies.
The magazine Sarajevo Notebook is issued quarterly, with the first issue appearing in September 2002.