The whole point is that writing has a pattern and life hasn’t. Life is so untidy. Art is so short and life so long. It is not possible to have perfection in life but it is possible to have perfection in a novel.
I subscribe to The New Yorker fiction podcast and one of the recent ones was “Paul Theroux reads Elizabeth Taylor.” Elizabeth Taylor? hmm, weird. Sure enough, there’s another Elizabeth Taylor, an English novelist. This quote is on her Wikipedia page (and elsewhere), but no one seems to cite the original source.