Henry James said a person should strive to be one upon whom nothing is lost. In his new collection of essays, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, boy genius David Foster Wallace personifies James’ maxim. From tennis (“Tennis Player Michael Joyce’s Professional Artistry as a Paradigm of Certain Stuff About Choice, Freedom, Discipline, Joy, Grotesquerie, and Human Completeness”) to state fairs (“Getting Away From Already Being Pretty Much Away From It All”) to post-structuralist lit crit (“Greatly Exaggerated”), Wallace exhibits a rare ability to jump between topics authoritatively and intelligently as well as humorously. He’s a generalist in the spirit of H.L. Mencken with the literary sensibilities of Thomas Pynchon. Wallace’s equally rangy—and mammoth—Infinite Jest, just released in paperback, will be his focus tonight, but don’t be surprised if his mind wanders elsewhere. In fact, hope that it does. At 7 p.m. at Olsson’s, 1200 F St. NW. FREE. (202) 347-3686. (Christopher Porter)