SATURDAY & SUNDAY

In Boggs: A Comedy of Values, author Lawrence Weschler describes a conceptual artist who—through the accretion of seemingly mindless detail—manages to come up with mind-bending facsimiles of reality (sort of like Weschler himself, come to think of it). J.S.G. Boggs’ “Boggs bills” parody legal tender by mimicking its every filigree and are worth more than the denominations they connote because everybody likes a good joke—except the Secret Service, which has hounded Boggs for years and confiscated his work. So Boggs decided to spend some of his bogus lucre and sue the bastards—the case is currently up for review before the Supreme Court. “The nervousness, irritation, and anger with which governments deal with questioning, subversive values of modernist work is an ongoing theme,” says Weschler. And an old one at that. While he is town reading from Boggs, Weschler will also appear at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to introduce the musical works of his grandfather, Ernst Toch, a modernist composer who fled the Nazis after they banned his work. In the dedication to Calamities of Exile: Three Nonfiction Novellas, a portrait of dislocated, conflicted heroes, which also came out this year, Weschler honors his four Viennese grandparents, “[a]ll forced into complicated exile at about the same age I am now.” Toch heard his grandson play six months into piano lessons and pronounced him beyond redemption, so Weschler’s keyboard work has since been restricted to book after book about the human condition in its hyper-realized state. Weschler reads from Boggs at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at Chapters, 1512 K St. NW. Free. (202) 347-5495. He introduces his grandfather’s music at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 6, at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Meyerhoff Theater, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW. Free. (800) 400-9373. (David Carr)