Representation of racial and sexual ‘others’ in Afrikaans popular romantic fiction by Sophia Kapp
This article provides a feminist critique of representation, analysing the way sexual and racial others are represented in the work of the Afrikaans popular romantic fiction writer Sophia Kapp. Comparing her first three novels to the latest one, the article points to a development in her writing and tracks the changes it has undergone over the course of the almost ten years of Kapp’s writing career. Starting off with exclusively white and heterosexual characters in her first novels, her latest novel includes a number of black and homosexual secondary characters. However, while these characters appear to be equal to the white hero and heroine, an analysis of their representation shows that they are rendered in such a way that they support the white heterosexual marriage as the unquestionable standard, and it becomes clear that the inclusion of sexual and racial others appears for the most part to be in the function of “surrogate and enabler” for the white heterosexual marriage ideal.
Keywords: popular romantic fiction, Afrikaans, Sophia Kapp, ‘the other’, feminist critique of representation