This article deals with the concept of identity, taking the writer Max Jacob as a case study within a configuration of Jewish and French writers between 1890 and 1930. The analysis is driven by the idea that the concept of “identity” gains heuristic value in the social sciences only if it is contrasted with the concept of “otherness.” Following an inductive method, I distinguish a set of three principles that contribute to generating identity. First, identity can only be referred to in relation to historical processes and a specific context that avoids any pre-established classificatory judgment; second, identity comes from and creates “trouble”; third, identity is the product of interactions between I/you and between we/you/them. In doing so, at the confluence of the relationships between individualities and collective modes of being, identity works as a principle of action. Thus, since writers are driven by the desire to find a place for themselves in the literary field, their identity leads them toward a writing style that forces them to innovate.