In this paper, we compute the affective-aesthetic potential (AAP) of literary texts by using a simple sentiment analysis tool called SentiArt. In contrast to other established tools, SentiArt is based on publicly available vector space models (VSMs) and requires no emotional dictionary, thus making it applicable in any language for which VSMs have been made available (>150 so far) and avoiding issues of low coverage. In a first study, the AAP values of all words of a widely used lexical databank for German were computed and the VSM’s ability in representing concrete and more abstract semantic concepts was demonstrated. In a second study, SentiArt was used to predict ~2800 human word valence ratings and shown to have a high predictive accuracy (R2 > 0.5, p < 0.0001). A third study tested the validity of SentiArt in predicting emotional states over (narrative) time using human liking ratings from reading a story. Again, the predictive accuracy was highly significant: R2adj = 0.46, p < 0.0001, establishing the SentiArt tool as a promising candidate for lexical sentiment analyses at both the micro- and macrolevels, i.e., short and long literary materials. Possibilities and limitations of lexical VSM-based sentiment analyses of diverse complex literary texts are discussed in the light of these results.