The text, revolves around a battery metaphor which is introduced in this first sentence. Viking time is generated by this battery, there are currents of myth and violence connected closely to the two poles of the battery, the nomadic Saami people in the North and the settled farmers and craftsmen further South.


Neither these farmers or the Saami seem to be Vikings, because the narrator tells us that “The Vikings call them ‘the Finns’” and “The Vikings call them ‘farmers’. Viking time is thus far from exclusively inhabited by Vikings; it is in its own way multicultural with the Saami who hunt bears and live a nomadic life, the farmers, bakers and tillers in permanent villages, and the (probably English) “we” that speaks for those invaded by Vikings. 

A camp

The narrating voice tells us that “a ‘viking’ is an action performed when you beach your shallow-bottomed boat and take your axe to the monastery” and that “a ‘vik’ is a camp / a camp is a thing for the meanwhile”, thus reducing the Vikings from a people or a culture to a mere action of violence or temporarily and unwelcomed settlement. In fact, the Vikings are almost eradicated completely from the text, when we are told “The Vikings don’t call themselves Vikings”.