The March of Folly


Title: Restless raspberries until grapes rise

Author: Iraj Mesdaghi

Publisher: Forbidden

Subject: Memoirs of prisoner Iraj Mesdaghi

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Number of pages: 374 p

Language: Farsi



Introducing the book The March of Folly

Neither Life nor Death Iraj Mesdaghi’s memoir, one of the survivors of the 1988 massacre, is a prisoner of the Islamic Republic. This book includes four volumes called The Dawn, The Sorrow of the Phoenixes, The Restless Raspberries, and Till the Grapes Rise. Based on events
Calendar date is narrated and set.

About the author of the book Restless Raspberries until the Grapes Rise
The author of the book, who spent 1370-1360 in Evin, Ghezel Hesar and Gohardasht prisons, tries to explain the nature, function and role of imprisonment and torture in the religious and medieval system of the republic by recounting what happened to him and other prisoners. Analyze and explain Islam. By quoting the sayings and writings of the leaders and administrators of the Islamic Republic, by collecting facts from religious narratives and giving numerous examples of common types of torture in prisons and how they are used, the author shows that torture in this system is ideological in nature and one of the worst and most inhuman. Torture is considered.

Mentioning many cases that have happened to him or witnessed him, the author has tried to explain to the readers the judicial system of the regime and the process of trials and the types of verdicts and punishments issued by judges. In this four-volume book, which is nearly 1600 pages, the author, in parallel with recounting the events that took place in the prisons of the Islamic Republic in the eighties, with a careful and accurate review of the performance of Iranian individuals and political groups and critique of political texts, effort Tries to show their role in the 1979 revolution and their influence on the developments of the eighties and nineties, in connection with the consolidation of the foundations of the Islamic Republic.
In this regard, he discusses the lack of knowledge of the majority of intellectuals and political groups about religion and clergy and their ignorance and unrealistic view of the history and culture of Iranian society, as well as subjectivism as one of the most important factors. The third volume, one of the most important and shocking parts of this book, is related to the diary of the massacre of political prisoners in the summer of 1988 and is the strongest document that has been published in this field so far. The author, who himself waited for his turn in the corridor of death during the whole massacre, witnesses the whole story closely and reveals all the moments carefully and in detail in his book. This part of the book is written as a diary.

Excerpts from the book Restless Raspberries until the Grapes Rise:
“In this book, I have tried to focus more on the issues that I have personally witnessed or experienced, and less on what I have heard and quoted from others, except in cases of necessity and with the utmost caution that is required. I have relied on the rumors that have always been spread in prisons. “It can be said that all my efforts have been summed up only in giving a narrative closer to reality than what has been done so far.” (From the introduction of the book Restless Raspberries to the Rise of Grapes)

The March of Folly

“What I have seen in this book has been one of the fundamental questions, how and to what extent do we Iranians face ‘reality’, that is, as it is and is, and how do we express it? And what has been and will be the impact of our approach to “reality” on individual and social life and the growth of our thought? There is no doubt that many exaggerations and magnifications, or even the creation of some epic and mythical scenes, etc., were done with good intentions and in order to strengthen the struggle against the demonic forces, which unfortunately becomes a worse excuse than sin and the same historical problem. “We see its traces in Iranian subjectivism.” (From the introduction of the book Restless Raspberries to the Rise of Grapes)

“Because after all the motivations that motivated me to write this book, it was necessary to provide a more accurate account of the events in the prisons of the Islamic Republic, a brief study and review of books published in this field became necessary.
In this regard, I have tried as much as possible for me to access the publications of that time so that the quotations are as direct and documented as possible. I can boldly say that until the last days of sending the final copy of this book to the printing house, I tried responsibly to read as many books, writings and speeches as possible about the prisons of the Islamic Republic. “The results of this excavation are presented in different sections and thematically in all four volumes.” (From the introduction of the book …)

“I must admit that what is reported and described in this book are only a few aspects of the crimes of the medieval government of the Islamic Republic, and there are still many unspoken issues that I hope to address at another time …” (From the introduction to the book Restless Raspberries And until the dawn of the grape)

“On Thursday, February 20, 1960, I was taken to Evin Hosseiniyah for the first time. We walked the distance from Hosseinieh to the dam building, which is a relatively long way. Using the open air in those conditions was a blessing in itself. When we returned, they kept us waiting somewhere for everyone to arrive and take us to our wards in groups. I stood next to him in the ward building, near the place where I had stood ten days ago to go underground 209 and see the bodies of the martyrs of the 19th of Bahman. With my eyes closed, I thought about the events that had befallen us and our people, and in my mind I was drawing the scene that I had witnessed ten days before. Regardless of the world and what was going on around me.

Suddenly he hit me hard on the back of the head, which was about to dive headlong into the ground. He said: Where do you look at the hypocrites? Why are you sneaking up? What do you want to see? Let’s go ahead and look closely. I had no idea what he was talking about. I was confused. He grabbed me by the collar and dragged me to the garbage dump behind the ambulance, which was 10 to 15 meters from us. Meanwhile, Kiwmarth accompanied me on the pilgrimage that was behind me in the same way.
When we reached the garbage, he said: Raise your blindfold! I could not believe the scene I was watching. The broken bodies of two prisoners were lying there. Both legs were bandaged up to the top of the thigh and bloody. As a result of the beatings caused by the torture, they had died tragically in Evin Medical Center and their bodies had been thrown in the garbage behind the medical center. One of them was standing with his head in a large trash can with his feet up, and the other was among the rubbish piled on the ground.

It was not clear what they would do with the bodies after that. Were they buried in official and public cemeteries? Were they buried in mass graves? Or … this question always remained in my mind. Shah Mohammadi said with utter ferocity: Go and explain to the children of your prison that we are not joking with anyone! This will be the end of all of you. This is the garbage can of history! My heart was on fire from all this pain and all this cruelty.
How can one imagine what has happened to our homeland and its children: people, my eyes were stained with blood, where they oppress human beings, all the pain was not to see these scenes. You were breaking because your mouth was closed and you could not shout. You were suffering because you were silent. Death once, howl once. Even years later, whenever we were alone with Kiwmarth Zavareh on occasion, he remembered the event as one of his most memorable memories of prison. “And I cried many times, remembering them alone.” (Sunset, pp. 87-88)

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