This reminded me of Lily Briscoe, the painter in To The Lighthouse, and her moment of epiphany in the middle of dinner.
In a flash she saw her picture and thought, Yes, I shall put the tree further in the middle; then I shall avoid that awkward space. That's what I shall do. That's what has been puzzling me. She took up the salt cellar and put it down again on a flower in pattern in the table-cloth, so as to remind herself to move the tree.
Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse (1927)
More than anything else, I think this novel is about the pleasures and problems of creation. It's a book about writing a book (the one that's being written), and the way memory and time works on the imagination.