The main sections of this novel contain a plethora of autobiographical elements from Kustić's personal life. For instance, it deals specifically with his marriage to an Orthodox woman, Marica Radenković, and also with his transition from Roman Catholicism to the Greek Catholic Church. This book was Kustić's first and only novel he wrote in his life, which in a wider context examined the life of Catholic believers in a socialist and atheistic society. Kustić demonstrated a religious world which managed to survive within a society that had undergone a socialist revolution.
He pointed out the military and educational system as specific places in which believers had to engage in a struggle against atheism, so the stories from this novel particularly refer to the collision between the religious and atheistic worldview in these social institutions of socialist Yugoslavia. Through his characters, he expresses optimism that the socialist project of society without religion had to fail. That is why one of Kustić's characters says: "I have long been convinced that this entire conflict between religion and atheism, Christianity and Marxism on our soil is pure historical confusion. There are fellow educators who do not see it, who even enjoy this conflict, who are ready to torture, as they do. They know, in fact, that the Church is indestructible, remembering all that we have learned de mortibus persecutorum" (Kustić 1973: 138).
The neo-avant-garde duo of Zofia Kulik and Przemysław Kwiek was frequently performing in Dziekanka in the 1970s and 1980s. In the space of Dziekanka, KwieKulik made performances, showed their art on exhibitions and presentations, took part in discussions and symposiums. As a good example of their activity in Dziekanka could serve the performance Festiwal Inteligencji i Kraty (Festival of Intelligence and Bars) from March 4, 1985. The attached photography showed the artists making the performance.
The photograph was taken during a concert by the underground band Trabant in Pécs. The band released only one single (Eszkimó asszony fázik [The Eskimo Woman is Freezing, Hungaroton, 1984, SPS 70631). The songs were recorded for János Xantus’s film of the same title. Xantus’s movie is a typical representation of Hungarian film art of the 1980s, the so-called new sensibility, which merged neo-avantgarde style with postmodern irony. These films often showed contemporary new wave bands from Budapest. The songs played in the films were also important because these bands had no opportunities to release their own records. Their other tracks were disseminated as homemade tape recordings. Trabant has made no official production since the single was published. Copyright owner Gábor Lukin, who lives in the USA, refuses to release Trabant’s songs. The photograph shows lead singer Marietta Méhes, keyboardist János Másik, and bassist Gábor Lukin.
Ferenc Kálmándy, a photo artist from the underground milieu in Pécs, was prompted by the Budapest underground rock band Trabant to shoot a photographic series entitled “Too Late to Run Away, Shameful to Stay” in 1982. The composition, which consists of six pictures, captures visually the paradoxical scenery of movement posed by János Vető’s rhymes. The slow, hesitating movement of objects (in reality, people) set on the scene and the halting movement of bodies suggest the absolute futility of the paradox occurrence symbolized in the song or, perhaps, any occurrence, so it represents the rule of melancholic spleen typical of the oeuvre of Trabant. Both running away and staying are reduced to a series of actions which suggests hollowness and superfluity: the blurred movement of the body and human figures symbolize this state and a meaning of life associated with it.
This work reveals Kálmándy’s desire to link his work to contemporary photo art genres and underground cultural scenes. The figures in the photograph are director of cartoons Károly Papp (who at the time worked together with Ferenc Kálmándy for the Gallery of Pécs) and architect János Rauschenberger. Rauschenberger also worked as a stage designer, and he served as the editor of the periodical Bercsényi 28-30 between 1978 and 1980. The journal was the theoretical forum of the Bercsényi Architecture College of the Budapest University of Technology between 1963 and 1988. Alongside articles on architecture, it also published writings on underground music and arts. Its previous issues are available at bercsényi2830.hu.