The publishers had used optical character recognition software. There are a number of maddening traces this has left:
- footnotes embedded in the running text
- captions for illustrations not included
- at the foot of each chapter the heading for the next one, like the catchword in older books, but immediately beneath the last paragraph
- the occasional odd character error
- occasional bad line breaking
Had the publishers simply found an old copy, photographed the plates and created image files to print from, they'd have produced a much better volume. There would have been the occasional smudge, but "Pa-gliacci" and his friends would not have intruded. But a high-quality image file can be pretty fat compared to plain text--were they economizing on storage?