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Diana,

You said:

>Eliot himself made many statements within and without

>his work to support my view that he over-thought everything.

Is it safe to assume that you are exaggerating when you say "everything"? If
all the poems he wrote were "over-thought," they might still be interesting,
but none of them would qualify as the literary masterpieces they are.

>He was a genius intellectually and artistically and a mess

>as a human being for most of his life.

If his poems are works of artistic genius, what difference does it make if
most of his life was a mess or not? We read his poems; we don't live his
life or interact with him personally.

Please note: I'm not contesting the idea that learning about a poet's life
can sometimes help us make sense of difficult parts of the poems. My point
is that for the purposes of literary criticism and appreciation, biography
is just a tool to illuminate the poems. Saying that Eliot "over-thought
everything" and spent most of his life as "a mess" does nothing to
illuminate the poems.

>What is your contention? That Eliot was a well-rounded,

>sexually and emotionally fulfilled and free person?

Diana, your sarcasm allows no middle ground: Anyone who doesn't believe that
Eliot was "a mess as a human being for most of his life" must be foolish
enough to believe that he escaped the human condition altogether (because no
human is ever "emotionally free"). I wish you would refrain from sarcasm.
Its only purpose is to belittle the person you're addressing. It also lands
you in the very dichotomous position you repeatedly scorn.

Terry