In Si Ku, even ci poetry was considered "vulgar" - yet the genre got included because so many famous authors wrote in this genre.
The same cannot be said of two other major genres: dramas and novels - both had its origins probably during Yuan dynasties and became increasingly mainstream ever since - culminating in using the term "Four Great Famous Works" to refer to four novels:
- Romances of the Three Kingdoms - If we include the Official Histories San Guo Zhi (and Commerntaries, this work would not need to be included
3. Water Margins - first novel truly written in vernaculars; also catered to I guess primarily a male audience
- Journey to the West - I consider original Xuan Zhuang's Record of the West much more canonical than this work which I feel is more like a "teenage novel"
1. Dream of the Red Chamber - commonly considered the pinnacle of Chinese classical novels
In dramas, there are also a list of four key works:
2. Xi Xiang Ji ("West Chamber") - my inclination is to include the earliest work, unless there are strong reasons do do otherwise.
- Mu Dan Ting
- Chang Sheng Dian
- Tao Hua Shan
Numbered works are those I would potentially consider including in the eventual East Asian Canonical Text list.