—is founded in the distant past in a vision, a myth of the creation of the world;
—is sanctified by the hidden violence of a filiation that strictly follows from this founding episode;
—is ratified by a claim to legitimacy that allows a community to proclaim its entitlement to the possession of a land, which thus becomes a territory;
—is preserved by being projected onto other territories, making their conquest legitimate—and through the project of a discursive knowledge.
Root identity therefore rooted the thought of self and of territory and set in motion the thought of the other and of voyage.
—is linked not to a creation of the world but to the conscious and contradictory experience of contacts among cultures;
—is produced in the chaotic network of Relation and not in the hidden violence of filiation;
—does not devise any legitimacy as its guarantee of entitlement, but circulates, newly extended;
—does not think of a land as a territory from which to project toward other territories but as a place where one gives-on-and-with rather than grasps.
Relation identity exults the thought of errantry and of totality.
Édouard Glissant, “Distancing, Determining,” Poetics of Relation , trans. Betsy Wing (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010), pp. 143–4.