For many post-1945 Americans, the title South Pacific does not describe a text so much as a process of remembering. For the cultural historian, it offers an account of production. It is the relationship of these that will be my subject. The pattern of the former will largely depend, of course, on the rememberer – something of a book perhaps, a play, a movie, a song, another song. The latter, albeit complicated, is traceable. It has a literary provenance in a 1947 collection of fictional narratives by James A. Michener entitled Tales of the South Pacific, variously described as short stories or a novel, but always noted as winner of the Pulitzer Prize. In translation to Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1949 Broadway classic, it adds another Pulitzer and a paperback fortune for the original honoree: to one of the most celebrated runs in the golden era of the American musical. It parlays that success into one of the first widely popular 33⅓ RPM long-playing records, memorialized in its dramatic connection by a cover photograph of Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza in the lead roles of U.S. Navy nurse Nellie Forbush and French planter Emile DeBecque. It then reappears as a 1958 movie musical spectacular, leading to another joyride of the Michener narrative on the best-seller lists, and to yet another best-selling LP, now in stereo, with the cover photo of the lovers, here Mitzi Gaynor and Rozzano Brazzi, resituated against a Hollywood backdrop of wide-screen tropical splendors. Along the way, it proliferates into endless road productions and revivals; television showings and VCR rentals; re-recordings and new recordings on LP, tape, and compact disk.