By a transfigurative recoding of selfhood and quasi-biblical analogizing of historical events across space and time, Bob Dylan enacted in his poetic name change from Zimmerman to Dylan (as he would writing across the larger body of his song-poetry) what Norman O. Brown had embraced, in Love's Body and Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis if not throughout his works early and late, as tactics of “figural interpretation, [that] discovered world-historical significance in any [everyday trivial] event—an event which remains trivial for those who do not have eyes to see.” Transfiguration for Brown was not merely a figural, intertextual, or rhetorical shift of tropes, as will be elaborated; it also implies more strongly a biomorphic metamorphosis of self and world, soul and matter, bios and logos, via the morphological and linguistic transformation of terms and forms. Such metaphoric twists and troping turns of metamorphosis aim to remake the world into fluid, multiple forms of becoming befitting what a flourishing Romantic imagination longs for (via transubstantiation) and what Brown defines (and Dylan performs as) feats of transfigurative metamorphosis: “Metamorphosis, or transubstantiation.” “Transubstantiate my form, says Daphne [as muse to Apollo, archetypal Greco-Roman poet].” In this essay, Brown will play Daphne provoking and inspiring in figures like Apollo what he terms as the “be leafing” (believing) patterns in a world-transforming visionary poet like Bob Dylan.

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