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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