genre of prose fiction
Conte (pronounced [kɔ̃t]) is a literary genre of tales, often short, characterized by fantasy or wit. They were popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries until the genre became merged with the short story in the nineteenth century. Distinguishing contes from other literary genres is notoriously difficult due to the various meanings of the French term conte that span folktales, fairy tales, short stories, oral tales, and fables.
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seventh volume of the 12-volume series 'The History of Middle-earth'