What else? Oh yes: the swearing. Why do I swear so much, in what you are about to read? To make a tonal point: to suggest that religious sensibilities are not made of glass, do not need to hide themselves nervously from whole dimensions of human experience. To express a serious and appropriate judgement on human destructiveness, in the natural language of that destructiveness. But most of all, in order to help me nerve myself up for the foolishness, in my own setting, of what I am doing. To relieve my feelings as I inflict on myself an undignified self-ejection from the protections of irony. I am an Englishman writing about religion. Naturally I’m fucking embarrassed.
Violence is strangely capable of returning my characters to reality and preparing them to accept their moment of grace. Their heads are so hard that almost nothing else will do the work. This idea, that reality is something to which we must be returned at considerable cost, is one which is seldom understood by the casual reader, but it is one which is implicit in the Christian view of the world.