Ladislav Ballek´s novel Agáty (Black Locusts) was published in 1981. It was the time of normalization - political totalitarianism, which made every effort to regulate art production and declared socialist realism to be the only right creative method. Because writing truly about the present (and having the writings published) was impossible, and so was employing the techniques forged by the 1960s prose, writers had sought ways how to realize their creative ambitions without abandoning their principles. The writers began to prefer history and their childhood times, they fled to topic exile. In the field of literary criticism there was on going latent disagreement between the critics applying ideological criteria and those leaning on aesthetical views. The author of the article tracks the contemporary reception of that significant novel in question (the reviews and studies published shortly after its release), pays attention to the critics´ argumentation. However, the work was definitely well-received, one group of the critics used ideological terminology as well as ideological reasoning in their positive assessments, whereas the other group consistently adhered to aesthetical criteria. Thus two faces of Slovak literary criticism can be shown through the analysis of Ballek´s Agáty´s reception.