The Quick Read Culture Anne Heith

Profil magazine

Profil was a Norwegian literary magazine that promulgated ‘working class literature’.

Profil (Profile), a journal published by students in Oslo, became the basis of an emerging generation of authors from 1966 onwards. The inner circle consisted of Espen Haavardsholm, Paal-Helge Haugen, Tor Obrestad, Dag Solstad, Jan Erik Vold and Einar Økland.

The Profil group rejected symbolism, the exaggerated use of metaphorical language, poetical egocentricity, and an elevated style. Inspired by the Danish author Hans-Jørgen Nielsen’s notion of three phases of modernism, the members of the group wrote modernist texts and advocated a modernist poetics in articles and literary criticism. The breakthrough of modernism came later in Norway than in Denmark, Finland and Sweden, which explains why the Profil group, together with other writers and critics, introduced and promoted European modernism in Norway in the mid-1960s.

The Profil group split in the 1970s, when some of the members joined the revolutionary party AKP (m-l), the Workers’ Communist Party (the Marxists-Leninists), and the journal’s profile shifted to promoting socio-realism and politically revolutionary art. In the 1980s the journal Profil lost its importance. It closed in 1989.

Further reading:

H. S. Næss, ed., A History of Norwegian Literature (Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1993).