Moved to Tears: Erwin Koch and Emotional Engagement in Literary Journalism


  • Kate McQueen University of California Santa Cruz.


Mots-clés :

Erwin Koch, affect, emotion, narrative empathy, immersion, literary journalism, German-language journalism


Journalism research broadly has begun to acknowledge a fact long accepted in the field of literary journalism: that emotional engagement can be an advantageous trait of a reported story. But there is still much to learn about how journalistic texts facilitate emotional involvement in readers. This article adds to this body of knowledge in two ways. It explores the history and theory of emotional appeals in literary journalism, and it offers an analysis of the stylistic strategies of emotive Swiss literary journalist Erwin Koch. Koch succeeds in eliciting both strong emotion and critical acclaim by using a condensed yet distanced narrative style, which is particularly effective at mirroring his subjects’ experience of being in the world. Through analysis of Koch’s work and its reception, this article offers insight into the nature of immersive reading experiences and points to opportunities for future research on the topic of affect in literary journalism.

Biographie de l'auteur

Kate McQueen, University of California Santa Cruz.

Lecturer at University of California Santa Cruz.