A Shifting Shore: Locals, Outsiders, and the Transformation of a French Fishing Town, 1823-2000

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Cornell University Press, 2005 - 286 pages
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How does tourism transform fishing communities into vibrant resorts, working shores into bathing beaches? In A Shifting Shore, Alice Garner traces the ways fisherfolk, bathers, investors, and engineers understood, claimed, and remade the shores of the Bassin d'Arcachon, a prime fishing and oyster-farming site in southwestern France, over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Garner's interest in the coastline--a zone that resists all attempts at definition--shapes this generously illustrated book.

Rather than taking a straightforward chronological approach to the settlement and evolution of the towns of Arcachon and La Teste, Garner investigates the development of the Bassin d'Arcachon's southern shores with the aim of recovering something of the "lived space" experienced by locals and visitors. Drawing on guidebooks, newspapers, bylaws, engineers' reports, medical pamphlets, postcards, and the accounts of literary-minded holidaymakers, Garner shows how investors and developers transformed Arcachon and its community--beaches were rezoned and jetties constructed to favor bathers, and a new railway line brought ever-increasing numbers of visitors to the area.

Exploring how fishermen and women resisted developments that threatened their livelihood or their particular sense of belonging, she also shows how they adapted to the changing environment and to their new roles as guides and entertainers. A Shifting Shore, while anchored in Arcachon and La Teste, has much to contribute to a nuanced understanding of relations between hosts and guests in any community.

 

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Table des matières

Bassin dArcachon
4
List of Maps
6
Compagnie Agricole holdings
19
The Pres Sales of La Teste
31
To Suspend the Ocean
49
Evolution of the morphology of the passes
50
The passes mapped by Wissocq 1839
64
Oceano Nox
67
The Pacific Conquests of Hygiene
115
the Ville dhiver and Ville dete
125
Whistles and Pickets or Dejecta of All Sorts
138
Ponts et Chaussees proposed division of the Arcachon beach 1893
151
A Magnificent Panorama
160
Posing for Posterity
175
Other Occupations
195
Abbreviations
213

TAMING THE SHORE
85
The BordeauxLa Teste Railway Line
99
BordeauxLa Teste railway line
101
Bibliography
251
Acknowledgments
275
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À propos de l'auteur (2005)

Alice Garner is a Research Fellow of the History Department, University of Melbourne. She is also a professional actor and musician.

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