Classics are classical works, authors, topoi (pre-formed linguistic image, metaphor) or products.
In the general linguistic sense, "classic" refers to something that combines typical characteristics in a pure form that is accepted as universally valid and is thus considered to be perfect in form and harmonious.
The classical thus forms the timeless counterpoint to time-dependent fashion. Example: the classical "Greek" nose or the "classical" race track of 100 meters. Colloquially, today it is also often a synonym for typical (e.g. "making the classic beginner's mistake").
The following can be considered typical characteristics of a classic, although not all characteristics need apply to make a work a classic:
- Long supra-regional fame (often spanning generations)
- Certain traditional value
- High recognition value
- High quality is conceded
- Innovation potential, novelty
- Influence on culture
- Timelessness of themes, in fiction e.g. love, hate & anger, family, adventure, resistance & adaptation