Baudelaire, “On the Essence of Laughter”, describes an 'absolute comic' who “can only be absolute in relation to fallen humanity” (…). For him “an artist is only an artist on condition that he is a double man and that there is not one single phenomenon of his double nature of which he is ignorant”. 
Now I wonder. 
Nabokov's play with "masks" indicates that V. and SK share a special relationship with Mr. Goodman by the anonymous covering neither G or SK owned but which, it seems, actually belongs to V.
Mr. Goodman:
[...]A black mask covered his face. 'What can I do for you?' He went on looking at me through the eyeholes and still holding my card...
[...] Mr Goodman with finger and thumb stroked his face.... I mean the face under his mask... stroked it down, down, reflectively...
[...] smiling under his mask Mr Goodman tried to pronounce our simple Russian name...
[...] After shaking hands with me most cordially, he returned the black mask which I pocketed, as I supposed it might come in usefully on some other occasion.

We read that for Sheldon, The Doubtful Asphodel
[...] was already casting its shadow and that his novels and stories were but bright masks, sly tempters under the pretence of artistic adventure leading him unerringly towards a certain imminent goal ...
And in TRLSK's last lines:
[...] I am Sebastian Knight. I feel as if I were impersonating him on a lighted stage[...] for, try as I may, I cannot get out of my part: Sebastian's mask clings to my face, the likeness will not be washed off. I am Sebastian, or Sebastian is I, or perhaps we both are someone whom neither of us knows.

There is a saying I once read in the list: "Grattez le russe et vous verrez le tartare” (“Scratch a Russian and you will find a Tartar”), attributed to Napoleon while he'd been emprisioned by the British. 
Scratch Mme.Lecerf and you'll find Helene, Nina or some other name kept "sub Rosa"? 
Thinking about roses and secrets led me to a more recent novel,"The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana", by Umberto Eco who composes a detective-story that follows the intrincacies of the protagonist's personal history and who we meet lying in a hospital: "And what's your name?"/[...] After a moment I offered the most obvious reply./"My name is Arthur Gordon Pym."/"That isn't your name./"Of course, Pym was someone else. He did not come back again... "
However, I would not have been reminded of E.A.Poe in relation to SK were it not for Eco's Norton Lectures, Harvard, 1993: "Six Walks in the Fictional Woods". In one of his lectures U.Eco stops at Poe's "The Narrative of  Arthur Gordon Pym" to discuss its various voices and worlds inside worlds, when he stressed the author's intervention to emphasize the narrator's rendering of Pym's disappearance. 
The book I now hold in my hand bears the title "The Real Life of Sebastian Knight" and the author's name, Vladimir Nabokov.
My New Directions Edition repeats this title at the opening of every chapter.What I read, though, is the narrator's (V.) account of his experience of gathering information about his half-brother, Sebastian. A kind of diary that only once in a while reveals a little about Sebastian, his life and work. Sebastian comes and goes, but V. and his "narrative" have vanished...
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