Weekend Words: Exit

Albrecht Dürer, “Small Passion: 2. Expulsion from the Paradise” (1510), woodcut (British Museum, London) (image via Web Gallery of Art)

This week marked the opening of the last Whitney Biennial before the museum exits its historic Marcel Breuer building, as well as the last Brucennial, courtesy of the Bruce High Quality Foundation, before it exits the scene for good.

“But I am in the gambling business, for good or ill; it is the business I have chosen, and the only governing rule that we all recognize is: always sit close to an exit and never trust a man who doesn’t sweat.”

—Hunter S. Thompson, Songs Of The Doomed – More Notes On The Death Of The American Dream

“Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit; and it is but common prudence to see our way out before we venture in.”


“Don’t make a big exit. Just go. But kiss him quickly, before you go, otherwise he might think you are angry; he is used to suspecting he is doing something wrong.”

—Marlene Dietrich

“Few men of action have been able to make a graceful exit at the appropriate time.”

—Malcolm Muggeridge

“We do on stage things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

—Tom Stoppard, Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

“The smile of iceboxes annihilates me.
Such blue currents in the veins of my loved one!
I hear her great heart purr.

From her lips ampersands and percent signs
Exit likes kisses.”

—Sylvia Plath, “An Appearance”

“Thinking of a series of dreams
Where the time and the tempo fly
And there’s no exit in any direction
‘Cept the one that you can’t see with your eyes.”

—Bob Dylan, “Series of Dreams”

“Heaven grant that the burden you carry may have as easy an exit as it had an entrance.”

—Desiderius Erasmus, Prayer To A Pregnant Woman

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