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Raised in humble circumstances, Fijman was a highly intelligent child interested in art, music, and literature; he later made a modest living as a French teacher and itinerant violinist until a series of mental breakdowns lead to his permanent (and, according to Fijman, not always unpleasant) residency at the Borda Asylum from 1942 until his death. Fijman was keenly interested in religion and religious visions, part of the reason for his conversion from Judaism to Catholicism in 1930.
His personality inspired the fictional character of Samuel Tesler from Adán Buenosayres, the widely recognized novel written by Leopoldo Marechal.
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