>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.