Books, films and music particularly may become a classic, where an equally well-known painting would more likely be called a masterpiece. A classic is often something old that is still popular. Some examples would be the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, the 1946 film It's A Wonderful Life, and the song Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley. Lists of classics are long and ranging, and would vary depending on personal opinion. Classic rock is a popular radio format, playing a repertoire of old but familiar recordings.
Contemporary works may be hailed as an instant classic but the criteria for classic status tends to include the test of time. A cult classic may be well known but is only properly appreciated by a minority.
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Famous quotes containing the words classics and/or cultural:
“For what are the classics but the noblest thoughts of man? They are the only oracles which are not decayed, and there are such answers to the most modern inquiry in them as Delphi and Dodona never gave. We might as well omit to study Nature because she is old.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“A culture may be conceived as a network of beliefs and purposes in which any string in the net pulls and is pulled by the others, thus perpetually changing the configuration of the whole. If the cultural element called morals takes on a new shape, we must ask what other strings have pulled it out of line. It cannot be one solitary string, nor even the strings nearby, for the network is three-dimensional at least.”
—Jacques Barzun (b. 1907)