Western imperialism was a process by which a few states, and only a few people within those states, took possession of much of the rest of the world and (re)named it. At its height, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, much of the production of the entire human race went to support and enrich those living in a few European countries. This experiment in organizing human activity was short-lived and ultimately unsuccessful. Beginning with the First World War, the empires began to crumble until empire as a political unit essentially disappeared from the map. Out of the ashes of those empires have risen new empires organized on an economic and technological basis. Unlike previous empires, these new transnational empires are independent of geographical boundaries, spatially organized as they increasingly are more in the realm of the techno-corporate than in that of the strictly physical.
How to Cite: Ivison, D . (1997) “Outhouses of the European Soul: Imperialism in Thomas Pynchon”, Pynchon Notes. doi: 10.16995/pn.168