Readers of this blog may have noticed an odd confluence of reflections on Raymond Carver as well as various citations from the television show The Bachelor. It is possible, Carver wrote, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things – a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman’s earring – with immense startling power. It is possible, he continued, to write a line of seemingly innocuous dialogue and have it send a chill along the reader’s spine.
Like Carver wrote about commonplace things with commonplace language, The Bachelor presents commonplace sexual relationship with the same innocuous, albeit redundant, zeal. This is not to imply that the producers of The Bachelor do any of this knowingly – or indeed with any craft – but that the participants, like Carver’s lost and lonely characters, surrender themselves to the process, seemingly unaware of how stupid and damned their lives must be.