On October 28 2018, Prof. Alexander Fedotov died. We lost a great scientist and man: Cosmopolitan, philologist, traveller and friend.

Just a few days ago, we talked with him to introduce his latest book The Spirit of Spring in Diplomatic Spectrum, a book about love in classical Korean poetry. With it, in a unique way, he sends us a bright message - to love. Because only love, no matter where and what it is, gives sense to our lives.

What is love?

Is it round or wide?

Is it long or short?

Can you measure it?

It's not long enough to girdle me,

But it is strong enough to break my heart.

With these verses by an anonymous Korean poet from Joseon dynasty he begins and ends The Spirit of Spring.

In fact, Prof. Alexander Fedotov or Sasha, as his friends called him, did not like to organise premieres for his books. They are over 40 – his own or translated by his. Besides them there are hundreds of articles and studios, dozens of translations from Old Mongolian, Old Korean and Tibetan languages. All provoked by his scientific interests in the field of ancient and medieval Korean, Mongolian and Tibetan culture and literature, philosophy and religion.

Like every great man, he did not like to flaunt the number of languages he spoke, over 12 certainly, most of them rare. Doctor of Philological Sciences, Professor of Korean, Mongolian and Tibetan Literature at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", at present he was the director of the Centre for Eastern Languages and Cultures at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", the Centre for Korean studies, the Sejong Institute and Honorary Director of the Confucius Institute in Sofia. He did not like to point out that either.

But Sasha loved his homeland Russia. He was born on 6 March 1956 in Novosibirsk. He loved his main degree studies – Mongolian and Tibetan Studies, which he studied at the Faculty of Eastern Languages and Cultures at St. Petersburg State University. He loved his second homeland - Bulgaria. Right from the start of his studies in St. Petersburg, he met his great love - the Bulgarian woman Snezhana Todorova, married her and connected his life with our country forever.

He loved his work. He developed his academic career at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". From 1981 to 1987, he is an assistant professor of Eastern Literature and Culture, from 1987 to 1990 he is a chief assistant professor, from 1990 to 1999 he is associate professor. In 1999 he became a professor of Eastern Literature and Culture (Korean, Tibetan and Mongolian Literature). Prof. Fedotov also held a number of managerial positions at the Sofia University. He has been Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology (1995-2001), Head of the Department of Languages ​​and Cultures of East Asia (2001-2006), Deputy Rector (2001-2007). He is the creator of the Korean Studies department at Sofia University. He has specialized and delivered lectures in the Republic of Korea, China, Mongolia, India, Thailand, Hungary, Romania, Austria and Russia. He is a member of the World Associations of Korean, Mongolian, Tibetan, and Altaic Studies.

Sasha loved the world. And he travelled it from East to West. His passion for travelling was known to everyone - he has visited over 120 countries. He conquered Kilimanjaro, participated in an expedition to Antarctica... But his heart was Asia. He had yet another, less known passion - philately and numismatics.

Sasha loved his students and always said they were the best in Bulgaria. He loved his colleagues and friends. And he offered everyone a helping hand in hard times.

We will remember him with his generous spirit, loving heart, cheerful smile and great energy.

And with the message from his last book The Spirit of Spring - to love. Because only love, no matter where and what it is, gives sense to our lives.

May he rest in peace!                          

More about Prof. Alexander Fedotov, you can find in the INTERVIEW he gave specifically for Diplomatic Spectrum in June 2015.