Miles on link types

As Adrian Miles points out, the contours of meaning and expectation readers develop as they move through a text are not constructed randomly. "Sequence can only be constituted as a sequence retrospectively" (Miles 2001, 65).

Understanding comes as readers work towards closure. Absolutely open reading is impossible: To perform a reading is to seek sequence and connection rather than isolated moments, and that demands retrospective unification and definition of the sequence, and so a certain finality, even if that is defined as "open-ended."

The other side of Miles' point is that an author cannot fully determine how readers will unify sequences as they read.

He argues that since "the relation between parts can only be interpreted by virtue of an end", and since the sequential synthesis is constructed by the readers during their reading, authors can never set up textual devices that will guarantee their desired view of the text will be adopted by the reader. "Any methodology that assumes specific interpretative outcomes from formal practices will be rendered historically irrelevant" (Miles 2001, 66).

He has in mind, for instance, the attempt to specify a thorough and stable set of link types. He argues that it is wrong to try and discipline the possibilities of reading. But this does not imply that there should be no authorial guidance for the reader.