Raymond Carver's short story "Intimacy," a poignant exploration of the relationship between an ex-husband and ex-wife, paints for the reader a picture of this ex-couple's rocky history and their current estrangement. The ex-husband narrator, a relatively well-known writer of fiction, arrives unannounced at his ex-wife's home, and she lets him in. While this scene is ordinary enough, Carver's telling of the story is unique. The story itself consists largely of dialogue; there is precious little in the way of action, setting, or exposition. In comparison to most fiction, the proportions of this dialogue are highly skewed: the ex-wife unequivocally dominates the story's conversation, and the ex-husband initially appears to be a victim of her verbal abuse. Accompanying the distorted dialogue, the dearth of concrete objects gives "Intimacy" an empty, vague atmosphere in which readers get few details with which to kindle their imaginations.
Bramlett, Frank and Raabe, David, "Redefining Intimacy: Carver and Conversation" (2004). English Faculty Publications. 4.