Mary Gaitskill

Losing At Cards


Louis Malle, “William Wilson Full Movie” (1968)

Notice the way he touches her face; the cold stare she gives him (22:28…).

Any further comment is superfluous.

She slaps him, but not because he whipped her and not because he was about to have her gang-raped: She’s pissed because he cheated at cards!


Louis Malle, “William Wilson” from “Histoires Extraordinaires” (1968)

- Mary Gaitskill

  • Amy Ponomarev

    The only thing I can think of that would make his behavior worse: He’s a famous writer who tells her never to write about being whipped after losing at cards. That’s his turf.

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Mary Gaitskill is the author of the novels "Veronica" and "Two Girls, Fat and Thin." She has also written three books of stories, "Bad Behavior," "Because They Wanted To," and "Don't Cry." More Mary Gaitskill here.