Leyendas de Guatemala, perhaps more than any other work by Asturias, courted a European audience. The significance of Leyendas de Guatemala lay in its role in bringing to European attention an imaginative picture of Guatemalan reality. Luis de Arrigoitia’s summary captures the contradictory nature of Asturias’s success in Leyendas de Guatemala. ‘Guatemala’ offers the reader an introduction to a country about which he or she is presumed to know little. The narrator speaks in a Guatemalan voice even as he indulges the foreign reader’s imaginative demands. The narrator reinforces Guatemala’s role as a reservoir of liberating exoticism through the image of alligators dozing in warm water on virgin young women. Despite having achieved self-definition through his return to the ladino metropolis of Guatemala City, in the second story the narrator offers an account of his past and his estrangement from his roots that is almost entirely dependent on Mayan motifs.