The Transfiguration of Bob Dylan: Gothic Week Continues on Montevidayo

by on Oct.08, 2012

In my last post I made reference to the new Bob Dylan interview in Rolling Stone Magazine. It sounds like it would be boring; I picked it up in a coffee shop expecting to find more rehashings of him “going electric” etc. Instead Dylan takes the interviewer on a really out-there discussion of “transfigurations.” He tells the interviewer to read a book about a certain Robert Zimmerman, a leader of Hell’s Angels who died in a motorcycle accident in 1961, and suggests that this was part of his “transfiguration.”

Excerpt:

Dylan: Yeah, poor Bobby. You know what this is called? It’s called transfiguration. Have you ever heard of it?
Interviewer: Yes.
Dylan: We” you’re looking at somebody.
I: That… has been transfigured?
Dylan: Yeah, absolutely. I’m not like you, am I? I’m not like him either. I’m not like too many others. I’m only like another person who’s been transfigured. How many people lie that or like me do you know?
I: By transfiguration, you mean it in the sense of being transformed? Or do you mean transmigration, when a soul passes into a different body?
Dylan: Transmigration is not what we are talking about. This is something else. I had a motorcycle accident in 1966. I already explained to you about th enew and old. Right? Now, you can put this together any way you want. You can work on it any way you want. Transfiguration: You can go and learn about it from the Catholic Church, you can learn about it in some old mystical books, but it’s a real concept. It’s happened throughout the ages. Nobody knowswho’s its’ happened to, or why. But you get real proof of it here and there. It’s not like something you can dream up and think… So when you ask some of your questions, you’re asking them to a person who’s long dead. You’re asking them to a person who doesn’t exist. …

Raphael’s “The Transfiguration”:

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