Højholt, Per (1928–2004) By Fauth, Søren R.
Per Højholt was one of the most productive and influential Danish writers of the 20th century. He made his debut in 1948 at the age of twenty, when the modernist journal Heretica published his cycle of poems De nøgne. Højholt proceeded to elaborate his own form of radical modernism rooted in the work of, for example, Stéphane Mallarmé, with his first collection of poetry, Poetens hoved (1963). Whereas in the work of Mallarmé the suggestiveness of the language reaches towards a more elevated (truer) form of reality, Højholt’s poetry is postmodern play with language. The oeuvre spans widely, ranging from collections of poems, short prose and essays, to the novel Auricula (2001) and the posthumous fragment Hans Henrik Mattesen—En monografi (2007). Højholt by no means confined himself to the writing desk and the written page. A large part of his work comprised performance and artistic expression in other media: radio readings of poetry, radio montage, radio plays, as well as a variety of public happenings. Højholt was born on 22 July 1928 and died on 15 October 2004. A trained librarian, he worked in that capacity until 1966, subsequently devoting himself to his artistic endeavor until the time of his death. He was awarded the Danish Academy’s Grand Prize in 1982.