Paul Dienach spent a year in a coma victim of a strange illness and when he woke up he assured that “his consciousness had traveled to the body of a man from the year 3906”.
Chronicles of the Future is a book containing the diary of a man who never intended his words to be revealed to the world.
Although many immediately consider this testimony to be a grand illusion, Dienach was taken very seriously. But let’s start at the beginning.
Dienach was a German teacher who lived in Central Europe at the beginning of the last century, and the truth is that he never thought of being a writer, much less traveling in time. Circumstances led to this.
In 1921, Dienach was the victim of a major epidemic of encephalitis lethargica and, as a result, fell into a coma, a state in which he remained for a year in a Geneva hospital.
When he woke up, he began to write his diary, in which he reported that he had been wide awake all year.
According to Dienach in his diary, far from being confined to his bed, his consciousness has traveled to the body of another man named Andrew Northman, with the extra quirk that this man will live (sounds strange, but it is) in 3906.
The people of the year 3906 realized that a different consciousness was in Andrew Northman’s body and decided to tell him everything that had happened in the world in the last two millennia.
Upon waking up, Dienach feared he would be considered insane, so he didn’t tell anyone what had happened to him. But all that changed in Greece.
At 36, Dienach’s health left much to be desired, so he decided to move to Greece, where there is a better climate. So in 1922 he moved there and started teaching French and German to make ends meet.
Among his students was George Papahatzis, who described Dienach as “a modest man who used to pay attention to detail”.
After two years, his health hit rock bottom and he decided to move again, this time to Italy. Before leaving, he gave his diary to Papahatzis, his favorite student, to practice his German by translating the text from German into Greek. However, Dienach left and in 1924 died of tuberculosis.
For his part, Papahatzis translated the text over a period of 14 years, from 1926 to 1940. At first he thought it was a novel, albeit a very rare one. But as he continued, he realized that what he was translating was a diary.