Welcome to the online home of Variations!

«VARIATIONS» is the comparative literary journal from the University of Zürich. It publishes articles in German, English and French and it serves as a forum for the university's students and faculty members working in the field of literary studies.

Every issue publishes articles both on a chosen topic as well as contributions to current discussions in literary studies not connected to the topic of the issue. A third section contains literary and visual contributions. Furthermore, every issue closes with reviews of books recently published in the field of literary studies.


Literature is a variation of that which it can never be: the variation of itself. It's theme is that it is not.

Variation is movement. Movement is variation.

Reading, if it succeeds, is a variation, not of the text, but of that which is varied by the text - and yet, for that reason, also of the text itself.

Comparative literature: to read texts as variations.


(Hans-Jost Frey, in Variations, Issue no. 1)