In the first half of the twentieth century, the capital city of Bulgaria was honored by the constant presence of a small, balllike man with rosy hair, eternally crumpled clothes and a reddish face. The man has a very curious appearance - at the same time serious and funny, cheerful and angry. Despite its ugly face, extraordinary magnetism flows from its entire being. Passers-by in the street always stare at him, recognizing in the strangely swaying and ever-hurrying figure of the University of Classical Languages ​​Professor Alexander Balabanov. The distracted Bohemian professor whom all of Sofia is talking about, and cartoons are drawn in the newspapers. "I'm the ugliest man in the world," he says to himself.

At the same time, his infamous relationship with 33 years younger writer She is Yazov, is the Bulgarian version of the tale of Beauty and the Beast. The ugliest man and the most beautiful woman. In the cafes, everyone rush for them. And they don't shy away from demonstrating their closeness for several years.
Alexander Balabanov is a very strange bird. They say - such as it should be rolled up like a rare copy. In his poem "Bureni," Balabanov looks as if to himself: "You are impossible in theory, / Yet you exist with all the history."

Where does this "theory-impossible" weirdo come from, how does it fit into Bulgarian literature and culture?

Alexander Balabanov was born in 1879 in Shtip, Macedonia, at that time within the Ottoman Empire. His family is impoverished, but his father still finds the means to send him to study at the Classical High School in Sofia. Little Alexander demonstrates his extraordinary foundations in the field of classical languages. In the meantime, he explains to Greek classmates his grammar and it is clear to everyone that he has a great future in classical studies. He is remembered for the same indelible look he will become famous for later - gaunt, wrinkled, clumsy and distracted. Even as a student he makes wonderful translations of some songs from the Iliad, and after graduation he is awaited by a proposal, directly from the Bulgarian Book Society (predecessor of BAS), to perform translations of ancient Greek works for a fee. However, Balabanov won a scholarship abroad and went to pursue classical philology in Leipzig, Germany. He graduated there, defended his doctoral thesis in the field of Greek antiquity and returned to Bulgaria. When he graduated from the University of Leipzig and received his diploma in classical philology, the rector solemnly told him: "Happy Bulgaria, that there is such a brilliant man!"

After his arrival in Bulgaria, Balabanov was first a high school teacher, then he entered the University, where he worked as a teacher until his retirement. In Bulgaria, together with teaching, he is actively involved in journalistic activity: he is involved in editing various newspapers for literature and culture. He emerges as an active polemicist, advocating contradictory opinions but differing in his original position. It is significant that it enters into sharp conflicts, even with critics of the rank of Vladimir Vasilev and Boyan Penev. Balabanov is an extremely interesting interlocutor. Talking to him is a lush mess, his friend Simeon Radev recalls. Only Botev, Aleko and Zahari Stoyanov in all Bulgarian literature can write more naturally and naturally. Balaban's word gleams like a stream from a mountain, speaks like an arrow from an bow.

Alexander Balabanov is the most popular personality of the Bulgarian intelligentsia. He is well known in the cultural circles for his face, his favorite character is jokes and cartoons. There are legends about his distraction: he so often forgets his hat in the pub that his friends start writing it; when he fries eggs, he puts the shells in the pan and throws the other away; he takes off his shoes before boarding the train and the like. For him, an alien says he is a true poet in science. Science and poetry are the main components of his personality.
Balabanov is said to be a man with one hundred faces. It is true because he manifests himself in many fields - at the same time he is a poet, literary critic and historian, publicist, polemicist, mentor, teacher, popular storyteller. In front of the audience, the actor always takes precedence over the scientist and the writer. Due to his restless temper, his original ideas and ideas rarely find their complete expression. Shortly before his death, Balabanov will confess with pain: “For one, I am sorry - I have committed myself to science, and I am a poet. I had to write poems. "

In fact, Professor Alexander Balabanov leaves behind a significant poetic heritage. But in our time, there is little talk about it. Already, there is an abundance of writings mainly about his relationship with Yana Yazova. The irony of fate is that today the Beauty is the more famous and recognizable of the two. While ever, Ivan Bogdanov recalls, the name Balabanov acts in front of many closed doors like the magic words: “Sesame, open up!” Balabanov does not give up. He is close to the king, to ministers, to diplomats, to VMRO… When an intellectual from a foreign country comes to Bulgaria, Balabanov will invariably be the first in the welcome delegation. He will immediately speak the foreigner in his native language (Balabanov is a polyglot), will acquaint him with the sights of Bulgaria, together will discuss literary and philosophical issues.
It is true that Balabanov's fame as a beloved of Yana Yazov and as a prominent Bulgarian public figure darkens his achievements in the field of poetry. Let us change this fad of time and recall some of his most beautiful poems ever recited with love throughout Bulgaria.

"I know a scepter in Ohrid's son,
of pure gold and shining ruby.
And whoever took him out of the cold waters,
marry him to the king of Thessalonica to sit.
From the Danube to the White Sea,
he - the king of the Balkans - who sings in songs.

I know a pound in Ohrid son
of pure gold and shining ruby.
And whoever took her out of the cold waters,
for the sake of honey-songs will he load.
And his glorious name shall I live for ever:
the Balkan singer sing in songs.

I know a hut near Ohrid's son:
vines crawling on the walls, crin…
In this hut, my little girl sits nice;
in his mouth - what pearls, - what gold - in his chest!
You scepter and lyre and shining ruby ​​...
To me this hut near Ohrid's son ...
(Ohrid Son)

In his free time in science and journalism, Balabanov travels around Bulgaria and talks to students. With his fairy tales he becomes a favorite of students who through him get to know the ancient world early. Busy with too many things at once and torn into many fields of knowledge, due to his innate disorganization Balabanov is unable to complete anything serious. "He has something of a tragic duplicity in man. In this haphazard waste of a rich soul lies the whole tragedy of Balabanov. He remains a publicist in science. ”(Dimitar Mihalchev). It is endless chaos from which a star can be born at any moment. Bold, unbridled and often subjective, but always original. This interpreter of world geniuses Balabanov causes the giants of Greco-Roman culture to speak for the first time in Bulgarian. And so in life it becomes a legend.

"And the cold,
And the heat;
And the slave,
And the king;
And the coffin,
And day;
And a lion,
And soft -
For every hour!
Me. "(" Curriculum Vitae ")

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