"Five Essential Lists of Five"

July 24 2016

Hey Everybody!

I’m a thirty-eight year old, straight, white, middle class, able-bodied, male, reader, writer, dad, husband, son, brother, professor, lover of all things experimental and avant-garde, lover of donuts and ice cream, lover of tacos, with excellent health insurance and retirement benefits. I’m an American who was born in Kansas but grew up in Wyoming. I hold a B.A. in Film, M.A. in English, M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and Ph.D. in Post-1900 American Literature & Culture. I’ve published two books, two chapbooks, and have written for various national and international publications.

Now that I’ve explained who I am (so you get a sense of where I’m coming from…maybe?) let me define my use of the word “essential” as: significant to my own critical and creative development. In terms of rationale for why I chose lists for my contribution: I love lists and love learning about stuff I hadn't heard of or experienced before. So in that spirit, I hope you find something new on here to enjoy!

Five Essential Books

Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein

A Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari

In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan

Nightwood by Djuna Barnes

Dhalgren by Samuel Delany

Five Essential Albums

Sketches of Spain by Miles Davis

Kid A by Radiohead

Forever by Wu-Tang Clan

Set Yourself on Fire by Stars

Black Cascade by Wolves in the Throne Room

Five Essential Films

Two or Three Things I Know About Her by Jean-Luc Godard

I-Be Area by Ryan Trecartin

In Vanda’s Room by Pedro Costa

Bodysong by Simon Pummell

Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles by Chantal Akerman

Five Essential Artworks

Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain"

Andy Warhol's "Campbell's Soup Cans"

Yoko Ono's "Cut-Piece"

John Cage's "4'33"

Keith Jarrett's "1984 Tokyo Performance"

Five Essential Websites


Entropy Magazine

Dennis Cooper’s DCs

Dina Kelberman’s I'm Google

Black Lives Matter

Many thanks for your contributions and for allowing me to join in the conversation.


Christopher Higgs
[email protected]
Los Angeles, CA

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