I've often thought about the powerful draw of stories. I find a good novel satisfying in ways that are hard to put words too. The Atlantic surveys many attempts to put an answer to that dilemma - stories as a way for humans to attempt to exert control over the world, to added input to our emotional world, as a tool to better understand ourselves and others and as a way to create a shared, common history and experience. Perhaps its a bit of everything? Or maybe they're just plain fun.
Perhaps the real reason that we tell stories again and again—and endlessly praise our greatest storytellers—is because humans want to be a part of a shared history.